100 Years of progress by Topigs Norsvin is a century of contribution to success in pork production by innovation combined with pig farmers’ input. Feed efficiency has been a vital element in our breeding program for many years. We breed for feed efficiency by applying innovative tools and protocols. For example, we have used IFIR stations (Individual Feed Intake Registration) for more than 30 years. Today we apply individual feed intake and daily gain registration on a large scale to all animals on our nucleus and testing farms.
As part of our balanced breeding approach, Topigs Norsvin looks further than just feed efficiency for finishers. For many years we have considered efficiency in the entire production chain. This includes the efficient use of feed for sows and piglets. Higher sow longevity contributes to lower feed used to produce gilts. Our approach to breeding for strong and robust pigs also contributes to feed efficiency. After all, a dead pig is also a waste of feed. This total approach leads to lower input requirements and higher outputs at the farm level. And, ultimately, that is what counts.
We continue to work on new ways of improving feed efficiency. For example, we are exploring the involvement of genetics in the relationship between microbiota in the gut and feed efficiency. This shows a lot of promise for improvement as more than 30% of the variation in feed efficiency is caused by differences in microbiota in pigs’ guts. After 100 years of progress, we keep on improving.