Choice Genetics has established a unique selection platform including the use of computed tomography (CT). This Duroc has been on the CT program since 2013. The use of ultrasound to measure a single point of the pig to estimate a value was effective at reducing fat and increasing loin muscle depth, however the variation around those two specific phenotypes has been exhausted and a need for a tool to examine depositions of fat and measure lean accretion is needed. Because of the effectiveness (precision and accuracy) of using CT as a tool for genetic improvement the next step in our program was to undergo this methodology in our other lines. As discussed previously this has been implemented in the EBX (Pietrain) line. A new index has been established for the Duroc with exciting results. (See Table)
Maternal Abilities With a Unique Focus
While the Duroc has shown we can make tremendous strides in genetic improvement and deliver exceptional value, our CG32 female is also bringing a competitive advantage not seen before in North America. But this isn’t just about more pigs born alive, it’s about more quality pigs weaned, improved F:G, robust ADG and higher % of full value market pigs. Other breeding companies focus on selecting on number born alive, total born, etc. which in the long run do not bring more profitability to the producer. Rather, this approach requires more management of the producer because of the excessive variation in the piglets produced. The concept Choice Genetics has adapted is to select for number born alive above a threshold birth weight. Previous research has shown that as litter size increases birth weight goes down, thus leading to a higher pre-wean mortality and poorer performance in the grow out phase. Through extensive calculations, scientists at Choice Genetics were able to determine a point of inflection along the curve of pre-wean mortality and feed conversion that will allow for selection to enhance both at the same time. This point of inflection is unique for each population we have in our library. A more detailed summary of this concept will be presented in the next newsletter.