Pig International - March 2012 - 14

| 13

❱❱ When purchasing pig
breeding stock, a rounded
consideration of total
genetic merit is necessary
including secondary traits. ❰❰
More information
For more insights on pig
genomics, see
www.WATTAgNet.com/20538.html

Recently, for example, concerns
were raised about second litter
drops indicating that already there
is a challenge to maintaining a sow's
body condition. In Demark, they are
working to reduce the high level of
shoulder sores on lactating sows.
Excellent outdoor mothering ability
is required to ensure piglet survival.
An outdoor sow's appetite is crucial as
there is little opportunity for three time's
day feeding as they do in Denmark.
Spontaneous feeding is an option, but
with many pig herds in individual farrow
paddocks this is not always possible.
Selection for total born has
increased the total number of piglets
born. But commercially what is needed
is an increase in numbers born alive,
not total born. (We are interested in
numbers reared, but the heritability is
lower, hence genetic response is lower.)
This has led, belatedly, to selection
emphasis moving away from a focus
on total piglets born to focusing
on piglets born alive; for example,
in Denmark "live at 5 days."

New selection tools
We are entering a new area of genetic
selection with so-called Genome Wide
Selection moving beyond theoretical
modeling to commercial reality on

March/April 2012 | www.WATTAgNet.com

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- Dr. Sam Hoste

a trial basis in the dairy sector.
The benefi ts discussed relate
to improvements in genetic rates
of response of two times greater
than current schemes, with colossal
reduction in dairy testing costs.
The benefi ts to the pig sector
are relatively small in contrast to
the dairy sector where they have
removed progeny testing of young
bulls. In pigs, the areas of application
are fewer, relating to traits that are
currently difficult to measure.
The potential danger is that
selection emphasis on a few important
traits leaves us open to potential
negative consequences from selection
on other important but difficult-tomeasure traits. To mitigate the rapid
unforeseen consequences of correlated
selection necessitates intense and broad
recording at the nucleus herd level.
Rapid rates of genetic response
affect rates of change in correlated
traits. These rapid rates of response
require that genetic merit is measured in
a broad sense to ensure that unfavorable
correlated changes are mitigated.
Accurate recording of well-described
phenotypes is increasingly important to
the health of the pig population, as well
as the productivity and profi tability of
the pig supply chain.
PIGI

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Dr. Sam Hoste established Quantech Solutions,
which provides genetics and data analysis for farmers, processors and retailers, and is a co-founder
of This Little Piggy. Dr. Hoste is a member of the UK
National Pig Association's technical and advisory
committee.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pig International - March 2012

Contents
Pig International - March 2012 - Cover1
Pig International - March 2012 - Cover2
Pig International - March 2012 - Contents
Pig International - March 2012 - 2
Pig International - March 2012 - 3
Pig International - March 2012 - 5
Pig International - March 2012 - 6
Pig International - March 2012 - 7
Pig International - March 2012 - 8
Pig International - March 2012 - 9
Pig International - March 2012 - 10
Pig International - March 2012 - 11
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Pig International - March 2012 - 14
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Pig International - March 2012 - Cover3
Pig International - March 2012 - Cover4
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