DanBred Case: Earl Lucas Farm

Improving profitability
through added value

200 sows operating 7 strips 28 days located in the central part of France

With DanBred genetics we are succeeding in improving profitability through added value

The Earl Lucas Multiplication Farm

A family run business of 200 sows operating 7 strips  28 days located in the part of France.
The farm is run by Olivier Lucas, 36, and two employees, Kelly and Sylvie, who both work 25 hours per week. In 2018, the farm stocked DanBred Yorkshire (Large White), and the current distribution is 2300 gilts per year.

You can get the same good results
– or maybe even better.


weaned / average litter


cts of added value of unlabelled males and females


gilts sold /sow / year

30 %

labelling rate for females

15 %

increase in EBITDA after ten months of gilt sales


lean meat percentage yield

The results speak for themselves

I actually exceeded expectations! From my 1st accounting close as a multiplier, with 10 months of gilts sales, I increased my EBITDA by 21%! The number of gilts sold is exceptional: 11.5 gilts sold per sow per year! DanBred’s productivity is multiplying. I sow 14.3 piglets per litter on average. That makes a high total amount of genetic premiums, all the more so as this premium is of a good level!
Earl Lucas switched to DanBred from another genetics company in 2012, and within a year they sold 1000 more pigs with 20 fewer sows


Testimonial Experiences with DanBred Genetics

We switched to DanBred in 2012 but before that, we were self-renewing from French genetics that arrived in the breeding farm in 2006-2007. At the time, we were weaning 10.5 piglets per litter, which meant that the fattening was not running at full speed. It was while talking to our feed technician that we heard about DanBred. In April 2012 we received our first DanBred gilts from Denmark. And from 2013 we sold 1000 more pigs with 20 fewer sows on the farm! So I was very satisfied, both with the genetics and its regular progress and with the team that supports the breeders, even those who are self-renewing as was my case.

Above all, I wanted to improve the profitability of my farm, through added value rather than expansion. As my father was retiring, I was going to have to replace him with a salaried position, but given the economic situation, the increase in costs seemed difficult to absorb. Moreover, being far from the main production areas, the health status of the farm was an asset to be valued. I never considered changing genetics because I was very satisfied with DanBred. And the contract offered by DanBred suited me well: it combines freedom and support. We remain masters of our domain! It’s important to feel free in your decisions and in your choice of partners.

You always have some doubts when you start a project, because you think “is today the day, am I going to mess up my farm?”. My main concern was the large number of gilts to be inseminated in the first round. It was a challenge for me, but it went well.

On the other hand, I wasn’t worried about distribution, because DanBred genetics is on the rise. My only fear in the end is that I might not have enough gilts for everyone!

First of all, remaining a pig farmer, because multiplication is not that different from production! I find the calm and autonomous behaviour of the DanBred sow to be such that you forget that you are working with purebreds!

And then I like to interact with other players in the industry. Over time, I’ve discovered new facets of the profession, both through contact with the technicians around me and through the satisfaction of the customers who receive my gilts. It gives more meaning to my work.

Finally, I appreciate having been able to hire one more person in the breeding farm… and also to have increased profits from the first year of distribution!

With confidence, because the genetic progress created by DanBred every year is significant. As a multiplier, we make it available to breeders thanks to the gilts we produce. For this purpose, we have access to a large purebred boar park which is renewed at a rate of more than 100% per year!

In addition, DanBred offers us various tools, in particular to follow the genetic indexes of our sows which are updated every week or to make the best mating plans. The technical-economic and genetic management of the breeding is done via ISAGRI software, which is connected to DanBred’s international database. This makes daily life easier and allows the breeding to be managed precisely.

At the beginning, Loïc, who is in charge of monitoring the DanBred multipliers, came at least once a quarter to carry out “adjustments”. Now it’s less frequent and “that’s a good sign”!

Quarterly health visits with the vet also allow us to take stock and analyse what is going wrong. Usually, my other partners such as the feed technician will be present that day. And this monitoring can be continued at a distance. I also have a good deal of contact with the other DanBred multipliers, either during the multiplier meetings twice a year or directly on the phone. These exchanges are essential, it keeps us moving forward!


Enclosure is one of the many Elements of Biosecurity

Biosafety is crucial in multiplication. How did you adapt your breeding farm?

This is a key issue, both to continue the distribution of gilts and to protect the breeders who receive them. My breeding farm was already enclosed before, we only had to adapt the car park and the access management. So primarily it is internal biosecurity that we have reinforced and systematised, such as showers, changes of clothes, etc. The gilts are still transported in lorries with filtered air.


Gilts per year


Sold pigs after a year

Read more about the Benefits of Multiplication

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