News 2 commentslast update:Feb 25, 2016

Piétrain pigs tested in the tropics

Use of a new Piétrain line may prove interesting in tropical countries with ecological and climatic conditions similar to Vietnam.

In a study, published in Animal Production Science, the reproduction, production and semen traits of the stress-negative Piétrain line of pigs were investigated, as well as various factors acting on these traits. The experiment was carried out on a purebred nucleus on Dong Hiep farm, Haiphong province.

The reproduction performances and the sperm quality measures were based on 12 sows and 5 boars imported from Belgium as well as on 29 sows and 14 boars born in Vietnam, while the production performances were recorded only from 251 animals born in Vietnam. Vietnam boars also presented higher total number of spermatozoa values than Belgium boars. Vietnam sows had longer duration of pregnancy, more piglets born alive and heavier litter weight of weaning than Belgium sows.

Compared with observations in temperate climates, the reproduction and production performances, sperm concentration and number of spermatozoa of stress-negative Piétrain pigs were reduced; lean meat percentage was not affected.

Pig Progress


  • rle Ellis

    On December 6, 2004 the Belgian government gave 16 Pietrain to the Royal Thailand Project of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The pigs were then housed at the Animal Pedigree Research and Improvement Center in Sanpatong district, Chiang Mai. Komchak Pichaironnarongsongkram, an advisor at the Livestock Department said his main goal was to help improve the pedigree of Thai mountain pigs because the Pietrain pigs have more muscle and less fat than Thai mountain pigs.

    Our farm, Surin Farm in Sanpatong is a Thai government contract farm working with the research center, received two first generation sows. We have been using the Pietrain lines on our farm for cross-breeding with Duroc to get a new boar and gilt that are 50% Duroc and 50% Pietrain. We then breed that boar (AI) to Large White and Landrace sows and the Duroc/Pietrain sows are bred (AI) to our Large White and Landrace boars; this combination results in an awesome finishing pig.

    We are very pleased with the performance of the Pietrain in the Chiang Mai valley of Thailand. The Pietrain adds bulk to the finished pigs that our customers really like. We find the Pietrain to be easy to care for and as healthy as any of the other lines on our farm. Microscopic AI tests on our farm show the spermatozoa to have the same morphology, density and motility as our other lines (albeit we cannot do in depth sperm analysis).

    Randall Ellis


    NUCLEUS is working on stress negative Pietrain for more than 10 years. We exported our animals in South China with high temperature and humidity. We also observe that stress negative Pietrain is more suitable to this kind of climate than stress positive line. Basically, low Feed Conversion Rate is now driving breeding programs all around the world. Pietrain is one of tools to reach this low FCR, either used as pure bred terminal boar or crossed with Duroc or local breed.

    Arnaud BUCHET

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