Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Breeding for feed efficiency and behaviour of pigs in groups

  • Funded by: GUDP

  • AU Project leader: Senior researcher Ole Fredslund Christensen, Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics
  • Business partner: Videncenter for Svineproduktion (VSP) (Pig Research Centre)
  • Project period: 1 July 2015-30 June 2018
  • Funding: DKK 12,427,055

Project description:

The project will increase the genetic improvement of feed efficiency and improve behaviour by combining group information, support features, advanced statistical models and genomic information. Feed efficiency is a central feature of pig production when it comes to environment and economy, and behaviour is important in the effort to reduce tail biting and thus tail docking. Both feed efficiency and behaviour are complicated to breed for, since the properties are difficult to measure. New methods for managing group information enable increased genetic improvement of feed efficiency while behaviour can become part of the Danish pig breeding programme.

The project is expected to increase genetic progress for feed efficiency and growth. The improvement will contribute to the reduction of nitrogen and phosphor surpluses and reduce CO2 emissions. The behavioural breeding value will increase genetic progress for growth and contribute to better animal welfare and increase earnings in Danish pig production.