Published on July 24, 2023
Ask an Expert: How does Hypor select in their dam lines?
The sow represents 50% of the finishing pig's genes, which is why we consider the balance between finishing traits and reproductive indexes to be essential. Learn more about how Hypor delivers high quality sows that fit the needs of the market.
This article was originally published on “3tres3” and has been republished here with permission.
Swine nucleus farms are located, and interconnected, in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, with the goal of supplying its customers worldwide. At the genetic nucleus level each location is a "mirror" of each other so that, in the event of problems in a genetic nucleus, we can continue to provide service to customers from any other nucleus.
Hypor's goal is to maximize overall genetic progress to produce benefits across the entire pork chain, rather than limiting itself to specific phases of the production chain such as reproduction or finishing. In addition, the combination of genetic evaluation, phenotyping, genomic selection, and investing in technology allows us to calculate the value that a breeding animal will transmit on to its progeny. The large amount of data generated by each of these pillars is managed by our experts in an automated way in order to make individualized genetic predictions in the most accurate way, allowing us to take the most appropriate decisions at each stage of selection.
The use of genomics makes it possible to obtain a more accurate genetic value of each individual since birth. In this way, each pig will have its own genomic value.
Although Hypor produces a wide range of terminal sires that cover all market demands (High conformation Pietrain, High growth Pietrain, Duroc selected on efficiency and Duroc selected on meat quality), in this article, we focus on the selection criteria for dam lines. The selection criteria is the same for the Hypor Landrace and Hypor Large White lines.
The distribution of the criteria can be seen in Figure 1.
Seventy percent of the criteria are related to reproductive efficiency:
Prolificacy (27%) The goal, in terms of sustainable selection for litter traits, is that any increase in the number of total born piglets must be accompanied by the same (or greater) increase in the number of piglets born alive and piglets weaned.
If the sow can't farrow and wean more piglets, it's not a sustainable improvement. That's why our standard is to get 16 total born, 15 born alive, and 14 piglets weaned
Piglet quality (17%) Aimed at obtaining piglets with good, uniform birth weights. Not only the individual birth weight but the litter as a whole is evaluated. Efforts are focused on ensuring that no piglet is born weighing less than 1 kg (2.2 lb). He remarks: "In fact, today 90-96 % of our piglets, depending on the line used, weigh more than 1 kg".
Maternal excellence (13%) Attention is focused on the number of functional teats. This is why the objective is to reach a standard of 16 teats in total: 4 pairs above the umbilicus and 4 pairs below. With the ultimate goal that the number of functional teats is equal to the number of total born piglets, ensuring access to more and better colostrum. Thus, all GP sows have a minimum of 16 functional teats.
Stayablility (8%) A measure of longevity where the reproductive cycle of the GP sows in the genetic nucleus is taken into consideration, with the objective of obtaining productive dams throughout their productive life.
Social behavior (5%) Guaranteeing a female that is easy to handle regardless of the system used. This is done by evaluating the animals with a checklist.
The remaining 30% of the selection criteria for dam lines is reserved for carcass and fattening criteria.
The sow represents 50% of the finishing pig's genes, which is why we consider the balance between finishing traits and reproductive indexes to be essential. For this reason, we include growth and conversion parameters in the selection index of our females, to guarantee animals with fast and efficient growth capabilities.
In regards, to the morphology of the animals, a morphological evaluation of all the animals is done and any abnormalities are recorded. The presence of certain anatomical abnormalities implies the exclusion of the animal, regardless of its genetic value and, depending on the case, it also affects their family members. For example, if an animal is detected with a scrotal hernia, the animal itself and its progeny will be removed from the genetic improvement program.