Breeding of pigs is complex because multiple traits can be monitored and followed. Choosing the appropriate balance by using the right combination of traits and appropriate selection pressure can be compared to solving a puzzle. The possible configurations are limitless. Consider this: many people can complete one face of the cube very quickly...few people can actually complete the puzzle quickly. Similarly, a breeding program focused on a single trait will demonstrate rapid improvement of that single trait.
There can be serious downsides on focusing on just one or a few traits if the breeding program is not well balanced. One can cite such problems as reduced birth weight, an increase in the number of unviable piglets, an increase in number of still births, increased piglet mortality, an increase in number of runty pigs in nursery/grower, reduced carcass quality of runty pigs, shorter sow productive life, overall sow weakness, etc. These problems arise when the program fails to take into account the relationships between the different traits that are critical to having a balanced approach.
|| In Hypor we understood this and quite some time back adopted the philosophy of 'balanced breeding'. Hypor's breeding program has been selecting for multiple important traits and showing consistent improvement over many targets. We sought to improve the overall performance of sow and finishing pigs by creating a balance in both the sow and her piglets. The tenets are a prolific sow with good milk production, enough teats to support a big litter and good physical attributes to guarantee longevity. It is also a sow that breeds easily and is robust enough to withstand the rigours of reproduction and production stress in all production environments. This sow in turn produces piglets that are what can be referred to as “value pigs”. They are born in decent size litters yet with good enough birth weight to guarantee high survival rates. The sow’s high milk production and good mothering ability on these piglets that are already kick-started with good birth weight leads in turn to high weaning weights for big litters. |
The final product is a sow that consistently produces large litters of heavy piglets and that maximizes the potential of her progeny in the nursery and finishing phases resulting in faster growth, more efficient feed conversion, heavier market hogs and improved carcass quality.