DanBreds breeding goals are set for pig producers by pig producers, and their decisions are based on research and development carried out by DanBreds R&D*1.
The DanBred breeding goals are based on the production of finishers which integrates weaner and finisher production with an emphasis on production economy and only traits fulfilling the four properties listed below are included:
- They need to make a positive difference to production costs
- They must have a clear and measurable economic benefit
- They must be heritable and show genetic variation
- They must be directly or indirectly measurable on a large scale
Are there big changes on the way?
We are still in process, and the results of the 2018 revision will be revealed later in the year, but ‘survival of pigs’ is high on the list.
This is a natural priority and can be seen as an extension of selection for litter size at day 5 (LP5), which is a composite trait covering large litter and high piglet survival.
Furthermore, the revision work will examine the value of the marginal pig, i.e. what is the value of the runt, taking into account the very different production systems out in the real world and – if possible – to balance the future breeding goal for LP5 even further.
Can we expect a breeding goal that increases the number of teats?
When determining DanBred breeding goals, we focus on areas with high heritability and show a genetic variation.
Therefore, DanBred will not be including a trait like ‘breeding for number of teats’, because this trait has low heritability and poor genetic variation.
If we were to include such a trait in the breeding goal, our customers would lose substantial genetic progress, as progress in other economically important genetic traits would be lost.
As there are management solutions to handle the question of more piglets than teats; when determining the breeding goals, we chose to focus traits with high heritability and genetic variation, as this gives a more profitable outcome to our pig producers.
You can read more about the DanBred breeding goals here.
*1 R&D : DanBred Research & Development is carried out by the Danish Pig Research Centre, Breeding & Genetics, SEGES