Customer Spotlight: How Do You Build a Better Pig?

∆GYR = rTI x σA x (i/t)

That’s Greek for the formula for genetic swine improvement. Yup. Did you know that using a statistical methodology called BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction), you can calculate and rank an animal’s estimated breeding value or EBV? Well, we didn’t know that, although one of our customers is obsessive about improving the genetic makeup of pigs.

PigsApparently, pig farmers want boars with the highest production efficiency based on growth rate, feed conversion, low back fat and high loin depth. (And we thought only women worried about back fat!!). They can order a boar (daddy) from our customer that, for instance, sires progeny (piglets) that can be efficiently taken to very heavy slaughter weights, with low back fat levels. To achieve results, our customer offers proven prolific sows (mommies) that are ranked in terms of the piglets they produce—total number born, pigs weaned, litter weaning weight, mothering ability and overall lifetime reproductivity. Our pig-improvement customer studies genotypes and phenotypes, using our patented CryoLabel® products and even . . . ahem . . . our specialty piggyback labels. (We’re not making this stuff up!)

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