Sound genetics still key to production
success in loose sow housing.
So what can you do to
prepare for the evident changes coming with
loose sow housing?
Your genetics decisions today can make your
herd more amenable to loose sow housing,
even as you’re making plans on how to adapt
your facilities to loose housing.
Ask these three questions:
How can I improve the disposition of my
How can I make sure the sows in my herd are
durable enough to make this
can I optimize performance in my sows?
Those three factors—disposition, durability
and performance—can make or break your
transition to loose sow housing. And
they’re questions of swine genetics that you
can address immediately.
In the last few decades, the pork industry
bred for leanness. This produced not only
leaner pigs, it also produced pigs with
greater feed efficiency. No wonder, because
lean pigs eat less. However, because they
ate less their growth rate decreased.
Another thing: lean pigs tended to be more
aggressive. So what can a pork producer do
to prepare for the evident changes coming
with loose sow housing? Think genetics.
A sound genetics strategy helped
solve this problem. Babcock Genetics brought
the solution to the marketplace through the
genetic selection index in 1971. This method
is built around correlations, positive and
negative, including those between leanness
and growth rate, leanness and appetite, and
growth rate and appetite. Some competitor
genetic lines developed through years of
selection emphasizing leanness as a single
trait created appetite problems in the
animals. In contrast, Babcock created the
most economical genetic progress possible by
using the selection index to improve growth
rate, leanness and other traits
As you’re about to
find out, those traits--especially
disposition, durability and finish
performance--translate perfectly into
success with loose sow housing.
even if you're planning to make the
transition to loose sow housing down the
road, it's not too early to change your
Attitude is everything.
(Almost.) Discover the difference sow
disposition makes in loose sow housing...