Genetic variation in efficiency to deposit fat and lean meat in Norwegian Landrace and Duroc pigs

Journal of Animal Science
K H MartinsenT H E Meuwissen


Feed costs amount to approximately 70% of the total costs in pork production, and feed efficiency is, therefore, an important trait for improving pork production efficiency. Production efficiency is generally improved by selection for high lean growth rate, reduced backfat, and low feed intake. These traits have given an effective slaughter pig but may cause problems in piglet production due to sows with limited body reserves. The aim of the present study was to develop a measure for feed efficiency that expressed the feed requirements per 1 kg deposited lean meat and fat, which is not improved by depositing less fat. Norwegian Landrace ( = 8,161) and Duroc ( = 7,202) boars from Topigs Norsvin's testing station were computed tomography scanned to determine their deposition of lean meat and fat. The trait was analyzed in a univariate animal model, where total feed intake in the test period was the dependent variable and fat and lean meat were included as random regression cofactors. These cofactors were measures for fat and lean meat efficiencies of individual boars. Estimation of fraction of total genetic variance due to lean meat or fat efficiency was calculated by the ratio between the genetic variance of the random regressio...Continue Reading


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