New breeding goal focuses on viable pigs

By Danish Genetics - Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Danish Pig Genetics aims to make pig production more sustainable by increased farm efficiency, high level of animal welfare and a low impact on the environmental pollution. Viable piglets are one of major factors in driving the farm profitability, and this is not only affected by sow but also by the boars used. Therefore, the aim is to have hyperprolific sows and boars which deliver a high number of robust and viable piglets.

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An improved number of viable piglets

For the category of reproduction, Danish Pig Genetics selects for boar fertility for all the Danish Yorkshire, Landrace and Duroc breeds, in addition to selection for viable piglets at day 1 of farrowing for the maternal lines. Boar fertility is defined as the boar’s effect on the number of viable piglets one day after farrowing. Viable piglets at day 1 is defined as the sow’s effect on the number of viable piglets one day after farrowing. These breeding goals is expected to secure production of an improved number of viable piglets per litter in nucleus, multiplication, and production farms.

A sustainable pig production

An improved number of viable piglets result in fewer sows to produce the same number of weaned piglets. A reduction in the number of sows results in less resources, as feed and housing, needed as well as a decreased amount of manure produced. It is expected that one extra viable piglet in the litter will reduce the pollution of green house gases and nutrients as well as it would decrease the application of resources in addition to increasing the economic profit.