UK pig breeder tests female pigs to improve feed efficiency
UK pig breeding company ACMC is testing more than 1,000 female pigs annually at nucleus level for feed intake, feed conversion and growth rate as part of a process that the company says makes it the only one to test females in this way.
According to the company's geneticist and technical director, Ed Sutcliffe, it is important to test all females in all lines, since they contribute 50% of the genetics to the next generation. Manual feeding 280 animals twice per day incurs an additional cost of £15,000 (US$23,239) per year. The testing, however, has allowed for calculation of greater accuracy of selection by individually testing females and males, increasing improvement in feed efficiency by about 60% compared with not recording feed intakes, according to Sutcliffe.