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Trial for Comparison of Terminal Sire Genetics

by 5m Editor
25 August 2009, at 11:20am

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - With the onset of PMWS in Northern Ireland, Pietrain and Tempo genetics became popular choices of terminal sire.

However, little was known about their growth and carcass performance. Therefore, a trial comparing the growth and carcass performance of pigs from terminal sires representing Tempo, Landrace, Pietrain (Austrian) and Pietrain (Belgium) genetics was conducted at AFBI, Hillsborough.

Pigs were weaned at 28 days of age and penned in groups of 20 from weaning to slaughter (approximately 105kg). All pigs were offered the same dietary regime under the same management conditions. Pig performance was monitored from birth to slaughter and carcass quality was measured.

Effect of genetics on pig performance

Overall, the average daily gain of piglets between birth and weaning was similar across sire line breed, as was the number of piglets weaned and the total weight of piglets weaned per litter. The performance of pigs between weaning and 10 weeks of age was also similar with an average daily gain of 489g per day pigs across the four genetic sources. However, genetic source had a significant effect on the performance of pigs during the finishing period, and on carcass quality (Tables 1 and 2). The growth rate of Tempo pigs during finishing was 84g per day higher than the average of that of pigs from the other three sources of genetics. The feed use efficiency of Tempo and Pietrain Austrian pigs was similar, and was better than that of Pietrain Belgium and Landrace pigs. Landrace pigs were fatter than the other pigs. The kill out percentage of Pietrain Austrian and Belgium pigs was higher than that of the Tempo and Landrace pigs. Tempo pigs were the best at converting feed to carcass gain while Landrace pigs were the poorest.

Economically, Tempo and Pietrain Austrian pigs had a similar margin over feed which was approximately £4.40 per pig more than Landrace pigs and £1.40 per pig more than Pietrain Belgium pigs.

Table 1.The effect of genetics on finishing pig performance (10 weeks of age to finish)
Landrace Pietrain
Daily gain
(g per day)
804 815 794 888
Daily feed intake
(g per day)
2083 2027 2006 2119
Feed use efficiency 2.68 2.52 2.59 2.44

Table 2.The effect of genetics on finishing pig performance (10 weeks of age to finish)
Carcass Performance
Landrace Pietrain
Back fat depth at P2 (mm) 13.9 12.8 12.6 12.9
Kill Out
75.8 77.4 77.0 76.1
Feed: carcass gain 2.76 2.64 2.68 2.59

Conclusion: Tempo pigs grew faster and were more efficient than Pietrain Austrian, Pietrain Belgium or Landrace pigs. However, the carcass performance of Pietrain pigs was superior to Tempo and Landrace pigs. Overall, Tempo and Pietrain Austrian pigs had a similar margin over feed, and this was markedly higher than that of Pietrain Belgium or Landrace pigs.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Post-Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) by clicking here.
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