Danish Pig Genetics updates breeding program

By Danish Genetics - Friday, 21 May 2021

The Danish breeding company Danish Pig Genetics is ready to launch their new breeding program including three new breeding goals increasing their focus on efficiency and sustainability.

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Danish Pig Genetics is ready to launch their new 2021 breeding program, which aims to improve the sustainability of pork production. This is done by accelerating the genetic progress on viable piglets, piglet survival and highly efficient pigs through three new breeding goals.

The update of the Danish Pig Genetics breeding program is based on a foundation of the latest technologies, innovation and genetic expertise that are present in the recently launched Danish Pig Genetics Evaluation System (DGENES). DGENES combines millions of datapoints from farm recording with genomic data in a Genomic BLUP, to produce the Danish Pig Genetics breeding Index (DGI).

Three new breeding goals

With the new breeding program Danish Pig Genetics is increasing its focus on efficiency and sustainability by balanced breeding through the introduction of three new breeding goals.

The new breeding goal Saved feed is the proportion of feed intake that is not used for production of daily body weight gain and backfat thickness, therefore it optimizes the nutrient utilization by minimizing the amount of feed consumed for the same amount of meat produced.

For the maternal line, Danish Yorkshire and Danish Landrace, the new breeding goals Piglet survival, Viable piglets at day 1 and Boar fertility are added. By direct selection for piglet survival, as the percentage of viable piglets on day 21 after farrowing, it is expected to further improve the genetic progress on number of viable and robust piglets at weaning. For Danish Duroc, the breeding goal of Survivability is included as the percentage of viable piglets on day 21 after farrowing in addition to the breeding goal Boar fertility for the number of viable piglets one day after farrowing.

”With an innovative mindset and approach to pig breeding Danish Pig Genetics is utilizing state-of-the-art research methodologies in areas of feed efficiency and piglet survival. For feed efficiency, Saved feed, that is known as genetic residual feed intake, which reduces the feed that is not used for body weight gain and lean meat production, is going to set the pace for efficient pork production in the world. In addition, genetic progress for piglet robustness and mothering ability will be accelerated by direct selection for pre weaning piglet survival, boar fertility, survivability and viable piglets.” Senior Geneticist, Mahmoud Shirali, explains.

Breeding goals, maternal lines

Breeding goals, terminal line

”Danish Pig Genetics focus on balanced breeding which means that we do not only focus on the economic sustainability but also sustainability in the sense of an environmental and welfare aspect. By doing this Danish Pig Genetics contributes to a more sustainable pig production,” CEO, Karsten Due, explains.