Better pig growth with correct chemistry
Pigs grow quicker when they are placed in a group where
the chemistry is optimal.
Such is the result of a study by the Dutch Institute for Pig Genetics (IPG)
and the Genomics Centre of Wageningen University.
The institutes discovered that it is possible to select pigs and to breed
them with a particular social behaviour.
As to how much profit such a selection process delivers in terms of quicker
growth, both organisations are unsure at present. Potential profit increases are
certainly possible for pig producers. With the same feed, average growth is
quicker and the path to slaughter can be shortened.
The study shows that the interaction
between one pig and another has a big effect on growth. According to Wageningen
researcher, Piter Hijma, "by mixing socially-interactive pigs with a group of
other pigs, the latter group tends to grow quicker".
Pigs that "get on" better in a group, tend to invest less energy in fighting
among each other. Further study into this phenomenon is planned.
hopes that further research will show that there is a connection with animal
welfare. "If pigs are bred better on a social behaviour level, then not only are
the producers happy, but also the public at large and animal welfare
â€¢ Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre
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