Selection for enhanced, natural robustness to disease brings added value
Results from a recent, independent scientific trial conducted in the US show that pigs sired by TN Tempo boars with a high breeding value for robustness to disease were more robust to PRRS challenge than pigs sired by boars with a low breeding value. The high robustness group had a greater percentage of full-value pigs and required significantly fewer antibiotic treatments.
It is well-known that Topigs Norsvin TN Tempo-sired pigs have an inherent robustness to disease challenge, including enhanced robustness to PRRS. Results from this most recent trial confirm the inherent robustness advantage of TN Tempo-sired pigs, and show that this can be improved even further by selecting pigs based on existing, natural variation in response to challenge.
In this trial, offspring of TN Tempo boars with a high breeding value for robustness to disease challenge were evaluated against offspring of TN Tempo boars with a low breeding value. Both groups demonstrated good overall performance throughout the trial, and at levels comparable to performance under conventional health conditions.
The greatest differences between groups were detected between one and three weeks post-PRRS challenge. During this period, pigs from the high breeding value group had a higher feed intake, better feed conversion, and higher daily gain. The high breeding value group also had 1.6% more full-value pigs, due to lower mortality and culling, and 4.1% fewer animals that required one or more antibiotic treatments throughout the duration of the study.
Results from this trial confirm that TN Tempo-sired pigs have an inherent robustness to disease challenge, including PRRS. The results also show that it is possible to breed pigs using a natural approach that are capable of coping better with a disease challenge. The data collected from this trial will be used to further improve Topigs Norsvin’s approach to breeding pigs for enhanced, natural robustness to disease.