Pig and Poultry Fair shows superior stock
The British Pig and Poultry Fair, to be held in Stoneleigh Park near
Coventry, will kick off tomorrow. About 8,000 visitors are expected to meet up
with over 250 exhibitors.
With sustained high feed prices continuing to put
producers under pressure, pig-breeding company ACMC will be demonstrating at the
fair how the use of genetically-superior stock can reduce production
The company claims to be unique in the way it tests its
pigs - individually testing both sire and dam lines - rather than simply the
male side - using the sophisticated FIRE (Feed Intake Recording Equipment)
"Although expensive, this system has a considerable impact on the
speed of genetic improvement," commented Ed Sutcliffe, the company's technical
"This selection method of incorporating feed recording can
improve overall accuracy of selection by 10%, but when you look at the response
of individual traits, it can increase the rate of improvement of feed conversion
rate by as much as 60%."
Taking into account the
improvement seen in both sire and dam lines, over ten years this has led to a
0.293 improvement in feed conversion ratio resulting in the average slaughter
pig consuming more than 25 kg less feed to 94 kg liveweight.
in the individual lines are even greater, he pointed out.
take account of the reduced feed needed for maintenance, but not the
simultaneous improvement in growth rate, which allows for increased piggery
throughput, also cutting costs.
of genetic improvements is that they are 'locked in' to the breeding stock's
make-up so producers can continue to benefit from them," said Sutcliffe.
"Recording feed on dam lines is as important as doing so on sire lines
as they contribute just as much to the makeup of the slaughter pig. With high
feed prices it is no longer sufficient for dam lines to simply rear high
numbers, they must also be efficient pigs to finish," he
â€¢ British Pig and Poultry Fair
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