Better mothering abilities and more liveborn piglets. These are two of the reasons why Kristoffer Hald chose to switch to DanBred genetics. And he can already see the difference.
The sow has more liveborn piglets and is good at taking care of them. These are some of the things that Kristoffer Hald noticed after he switched genetics to DanBred in the spring of 2023.
“During a meeting at Axelborg in November 2022, I heard from director [of Danish Agriculture & Food Council, Pig] Christian Fink Hansen that a new trait had been introduced in the breeding goal, which will result in improved survival among the piglets every year going forward with DanBred genetics. I thought that sounded interesting,” he says.
The breeding goal piglet survival was launched in June 2022. Here, it was announced that the previous trait LP5, which stands for the number of live pigs on day 5 after farrowing, was divided into three new traits. The new traits are the piglet’s own genetic potential to survive, the sow’s genetic potential for her piglets to survive as well as litter size, which is the sow’s genetic predisposition for reproduction, measured as the number of piglets born per litter.
Kristoffer Hald has already noticed an improvement in the number of total born piglets. According to his latest reports on the gilts, the number of total born has improved by 1.5 piglets since May. However, he points out that breeding cannot do it alone – good management is essential to get such good results.
“In addition to the genetics, we also have a very skilled employee in the farrowing unit, who helps the piglets get off to a good start. We have also serve the gilts from DanBred a little early. While those who are of a better age respond extremely well,” he explains.
Good mothering abilities
Kristoffer Hald also reports that the employees are very satisfied with the DanBred sows’ mothering abilities and the quality of the udders. It makes the work in the farrowing unit easier.
“Our people in the stables find that the sows have very good and uniform udders from the breeder that we buy from. Then, it’s also easier to take care of the animals,” he says.
The better survival is not the only reason why Kristoffer chose new genetics in his herd.
“I deliver to a Danish finisher pig producer, and he had heard from an ERFA group that the DanBred finisher pigs have a higher meat percentage. Therefore, he asked if this was something we would consider. I’ve only heard good things so far – it’s really positive that we can see the good results on our gilts,” says Kristoffer Hald.
Kristoffer Hald has a farm with 1,500 sows and annually produces 55,000 weaners, which he sells to a Danish finisher pig producer. His farm is located in Bækmarksbro, Denmark. In May 2023, he chose to switch genetics to DanBred, partly because he had heard about the new trait for piglet survival.