Updating DanBred’s breeding goals ensures greater overall genetic gain in the future via greater focus on finishers’ traits. With the new trait ’Maternal early gain’, the breeding goals of DanBred Landrace and DanBred Yorkshire now include a maternal trait with impact on the growth of piglets.
DanBred’s breeding goals are updated approximately every three years and earlier this year, we reported the new economical weighting of the traits and launched a new maternal trait. Based on the changed breeding goals, including the new updated economic weights, SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre, has calculated the expected genetic gain for the three DanBred breeds. ’Maternal early gain’ has received international recognition, and it is designed to make way for genetic gain in the sow’s heredity ability for increasing the daily gain of her own piglets.
– Together with LP5 (Living Piglets on day 5 after farrowing), which continues to ensure a genetic improvement in the early survival of suckling pigs, ’Maternal early gain’ contributes to even more balanced and sustainable DanBred breeding goals, explains DanBred Chief Geneticist Helle Palmø.
– We base all decisions on research and development, where the calculation of economical weighting and simulation of genetic gain are just two examples. At the end of the year, we calculate the realised genetic gain – both in each individual traits and overall.
Helle Palmø, Chief Geneticist
Breeding goals as pie charts
The current breeding goals are the result of the extensive and complicated simulations of the expected genetic gain carried out by SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre. These simulations include the new economic weights as well as the traits’ heritabilities and genetic correlations. Only when these simulations have been completed, we can really know each individual traits’ contribution to the total expected genetic gain, as illustrated in the DanBred breeding goal pie charts.
– We base all decisions on research and development, where the calculation of economical weighting and simulation of genetic gain are just two examples. At the end of the year, we calculate the realised genetic gain – both in each individual traits and overall, explains Helle Palmø.
Increased genetic gain in finishers’ traits
DanBred’s breeding goals are long-term goals, and the 2018 revision ensures that the genetic gain in DanBred Duroc, DanBred Landrace and DanBred Yorkshire reflects the future needs of pig production, thus maximising profits and creating a high return on investment in production herds using DanBred genetics.
– Due to the previous high genetic gain for LP5, the trait is now being weighed lower, and the expected breeding gain is less from now on. This makes room for higher expected genetic gain for finishers’ traits, says Helle Palmø.
In the pie charts this corresponds to resizing of the slices. The LP5 slice is smaller than the previous revision in 2015, while the production traits are overall, larger.
For more information, please contact:
Christian Birch, journalist, DanBred