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Less boar taint with breeding

May 1, 2017

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Boar taint has been one of Topigs Norsvin’s breeding targets for many years. Through breeding, the proportion of finishers with boar taint has been reduced by 50% in some lines. The Nador boars of Topigs Norsvin yield progeny with the lowest chance of boar taint.

Topigs Norsvin has achieved significant results in its breeding efforts to reduce boar taint. The graph shows the genetic trend for the percentage of progeny with boar taint for the Top Pi, Talent and Tempo terminal boar lines of Topigs Norsvin.

Less boar taint

In the case of Tempo, offspring shows a decrease of almost 2%. From 2008 to 2016 boar taint was reduced from 5.5% to 3.7%, a reduction of almost 33%. In the same period the Talent progeny realized a reduction of no less than 51% and the Top Pi of 41%.

This means that now only 2 to 3.5% of the progeny of Topigs Norsvin terminal boars cause boar taint.

Topigs Norsvin has included the reduction of boar taint in all of its lines. This is one of the breeding targets not just for the terminal boars but also for the dam lines. Due to outstanding selection methods, the use of genomic selection and the application of the latest statistical models it is possible to reduce the inheritance of boar taint without a loss in the reproduction characteristics of sows.

Nador is 40% lower still

With the introduction of Nador boars more than five years ago, Topigs Norsvin created the possibility to realise even lower boar taint scores still. Nador boars are selected terminal boars that have an extra low heritability for boar taint. As a result of this, progeny have a 40% lower chance of boar taint compared to non-Nador boars.

For the selection of Nador boars, phenotypic and genomic data are combined with results from the Human Nose Score (HNS). The combination of results included in the database makes it possible to select animals with a small chance of boar taint.

Further reduction in the future

Genetic selection has proven to be a really good tool for reducing boar taint. So far, however, it has not been possible to eliminate boar taint by means of genetics alone. Nevertheless, Topigs Norsvin continues to breed for the reduction of boar taint and over the coming years major steps will be taken to reduce boar taint even further still.