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The effect of Piétrain sire on the performance of the progeny of two commercial dam breeds: a pig intervention study

  • C. De Cuyper (a1), S. Tanghe (a1), S. Janssens (a2), A. Van den Broeke (a1), J. Van Meensel (a1), M. Aluwé (a1), B. Ampe (a1), N. Buys (a2) and S. Millet (a1)...

Abstract

Genetic evaluation of Piétrain sires in Flanders occurs under standardized conditions, on test stations with fixed dam breeds, standardized diets and uniform management practices. As environmental conditions vary on commercial farms and differ from the test stations, this study aimed at understanding to what extent the sire, the dam breed and the interaction between both affects the translation of breeding values to practice. Dams of two commercial breeds were inseminated with semen from one of five different sires selected for contrasting breeding values (daily gain, feed conversion ratio and carcass quality). For each sire by dam breed combination, six pen replicates (with three gilts and three barrows per pen) were evaluated for growth performance from 9 weeks of age (20 kg) to slaughter (110 kg), and for carcass and meat quality. In our experimental setup, both sire and dam breed affected growth, carcass and meat quality traits. No significant sire×dam breed interactions on performance could be detected. Though a tendency for interaction on average daily feed intake between 20 and 110 kg (P=0.087), and on pork colour (lightness) (P=0.093) was present. In general, offspring of all tested sires behaved similarly in both dam breeds, indicating that estimated breeding values for Piétrain sires determined in one dam breed are representative in other dam breeds as well.

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Present address: Nutrition Sciences N.V., Booiebos 5, 9031 Drongen, Belgium.

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