Genesus Global Technical Report: Improving selection for efficient lean gain

In the pig industry, efficient lean gain is closely associated with profitability of pork production.
calendar icon 17 July 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

Day 120 has very high genetic correlations with growth rate in all stages, which means selection on Day 120 is an efficient way to genetically improve growth rate. Compared with ADG (h2 = 0.05), Day 80 has much higher heritability (h2 = 0.17) and higher genetic correlation with Day120, indicating selection on Day 120 may result in faster genetic improvement for growth to 80kg (Day 80) compared to later growth (ADG).

Following a long-term emphasis on selection for Day 120, Genesus pigs have obtained very good genetic potential for fast growth. The question is, can we improve growth rate and efficiency even further?

Alternative strategies to drive growth rate improvement may exist, and we hypothesize that by placing selection emphasis on both Day 80 and ADG may increase the overall growth rate to 120kg. Additionally, our feed intake testing focuses on the ADG period. Combining ADFI, Day 80, and ADG with the ultrasound fat and loin depth measures will allow us to enhance feed efficiency improvement during this period. Thus, the end result would be selection of pigs with more efficient lean gain over the whole grow-finish period, especially in the later period.

Genesus continually focuses on enhancing our genetic improvement program by considering such important alternative strategies. Improving lean gain efficiency for Genesus customers will contribute significantly to the Genesus goal of improving customer profitability.

David R Stender,
(2012.) Swine Feed Efficiency: Influence of Market Weight. Iowa Pork Industry Center Fact Sheets. Paper 9.

Dr Chunyan Zhang

Geneticist at Genesus Inc.
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