Thursday 16 August 2012
Choosing team players may mean faster growth rates.
Danish genetics company DanBred is investigating whether selecting for more sociable pigs will increase productivity.
It believes less aggression in pen groups will give pigs a better chance of realising their genetic potential.
The study will be carried out by Genetic Research and Development at the Danish Pig Research Centre with the objective of optimising genetic progress, including daily weight gain.
The study, which will start next year, will seek to identify pigs that are team players.
'These are expected to create a good atmosphere through their behaviour,' says DanBred.
'They could allow easy access to feed, enabling fast and increased daily weight gain in all of their pen-mates.'
Not only could social performance generate higher daily weight gain, it could also have the added benefit of less aggression and fewer tail bites, says the company.
'Several social traits have the potential to create improved animal welfare.
Interaction of pigs is also reflected in play, in hormonal effects, the spreading of disease, and the establishment of hierarchies,' it says.
Source: pig world
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