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Feed and feeding

Goals of the feed and feeding platform are to help the genetic improvement group to come up with the best possible feeds to express the genetic potential of the nucleus and test farms, to help clients to get the most out of current quality genetics and to push and pull market and research to stay up to date. The obvious products are feed manuals for the different lines and crosses. Research focuses on proper modelling of weight and feed intake development, alternative ingredients, and the relation between genetic improvement in the pure lines and expression of this trend in the crossbreeds.

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Finding the balance in sow weight

You should never comment on a woman’s size, but we feel we have to when it comes to sows. Due to selection for production performance sows have become bigger and heavier. So what is the right balance between adult weight and performance for the best Total Feed Efficiency? We are investing in research to find this balance.

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Feed drives profit

Feed drives profit. That’s why Topigs Norsvin regards feed efficiency in the entire production chain as being the most important feed efficiency characteristic. Defining Total Feed Efficiency helps Topigs Norsvin to identify the most important selection traits and prioritize its research efforts.

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The right guts for it

At Topigs Norsvin we are investigating if selection can be performed on the microbe population in the large intestine of pigs. These microbes vary in their ability to ferment fibers and that influences a pig’s ability to utilize dietary nutrients. Improving the microbe population could therefore increase the Total Feed Efficiency.

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Residual feed intake, what is it, how do we breed for it. What is the effect?

Residual feed intake is a new way to look at feed efficiency and several factors affecting residual feed intake have proven to be heritable.  Animals consume feed for maintenance and production.

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Feeding for maximum genetic progress

Nutrition is one of the key components to ensure that the modern pig achieves its genetic potential. The nutritional demands of the modern pig have changed significantly over time. Today’s genetic advancements result in pigs with faster growth rates, improved feed efficiencies and improved leanness. This progress has created new challenges in feeding these advanced genotypes.

Animals are not able to express themselves and reach their full genetic potential if the nutrients provided in their diets do not fulfil their everyday needs and demands.

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Innovative approach for the most efficient use of feed

Feed costs represent the major cost in pig production and are even expected to increase over the next decade. The Total Feed Efficiency approach of Topigs Norsvin provides new insights into reducing these costs. Feed Efficiency is created in the finishing pen, but there is more to it than that. On the farm, feed is needed for piglet production: to rear gilts, maintain sows, grow piglets in utero, produce milk, etc. Total Feed Efficiency is defined as the total amount of feed needed to produce 1 kg of live weight for slaughter.

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Scientific publications

2015S. De Bettio, A. Maiorka, L. N. E. Barrilli, R. Bergsma and B. A. N. SilvaImpact of feed restriction on the performance of highly prolific lactating sows and its effect on the subsequent lactationAnimal
2015Bergsma, R. and E.F. KnolGenetic selection for feed efficiency in crossbred animalsASAS, Orlando
2015Bergsma R.Feed intake and feed efficiency in sowsInternational Conference on Feed Efficiency in Swine, Omaha
2014Lundgren H, Fikse WF, Grandinson K, Lundeheim N, Canario L, Vangen O, Olsen D, Rydhmer LGenetic parameters for feed intake, litter weight, body condition and rebreeding success in primiparous Norwegian Landrace sowsAnimal
2014Gjerlaug-Enger E, Haug A, Gaarder M, Ljøkjel K, Sveipe Stenseth R,Sigfridson K, Egelandsdal B, Saarem K, Berg PPig feeds rich in rapeseed products and organic selenium increased omega-3 fatty acids and selenium in pork meat and backfatFood Science and Nutrition