Robustness for better health and efficient production

03-11-2022 | |
Photo: Topigs Norsvin
Photo: Topigs Norsvin

Topigs Norsvin breeds robust pigs. Compared to competitor animals, Topigs Norsvin animals are naturally better able to withstand climate, feed, and disease challenges. This leads to uniform, efficient, healthy, and sustainable production.

Robustness is an important element of the breeding goal of all Topigs Norsvin lines. This is made evident through the production of strong, vigorous pigs that cope better under challenging conditions.
This approach works and has been proven several times in independent trials.
For example, a leading US integrator conducted several scientific trials to evaluate performance differences between progeny of the Topigs Norsvin sire line TN Tempo versus progeny of leading competitor lines when challenged with PRRS. Coping better with PRRS infection.

Figure 1– Less mortality with Topigs Norsvin after PRRS infection.

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Coping better with PRRS infection

The magnitude of the performance differences between lines was unlike anything the research group had ever witnessed. Topigs Norsvin-sired pigs outperformed pigs sired by the competitor line in nearly every trait. These results demonstrated the superior robustness of the sire line (Figure 1).
The largest difference detected between groups was the survival rate, where the Topigs Norsvin group had 60% fewer mortalities than the competitor. TN Tempo-sired pigs also recovered faster, resulting in faster daily gain and better feed efficiency. Together, these performance advantages led to an extra USD$9.23 or €8.16 per pig placed compared to the competitor line.
In another trial (Figure 2), the same integrator evaluated the performance differences between TN Tempo-sired progeny versus progeny sired by the competitor under conventional health conditions. The TN Tempo group was the clear winner with a USD$2.64 or €2.33 advantage per finisher, again, partly attributed to a significantly superior survival rate.

Figure 2 – Better performance of Topigs Norsvin finisher pigs compared to another genetic line after PRRS infection.

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More than economics

At the end of the day, producers make money by selling full-value pigs to the processor. Pigs that are robust contribute to this. However, the financial advantage is not the only benefit of superior robustness. Robustness is also relevant and important in other ways. Enhanced robustness also contributes to more sustainable production.
However, good producers are also concerned about animal welfare, meaning they want robust, healthy animals, not ones they have to drag out of the barn. That’s discouraging for the producer as well as the farm staff.
Robustness also leads to more efficient production, meaning that less feed and other resources are required.

Not only PRRS

More robust pigs need fewer antibiotics and other medicines. The robustness of the TN Tempo doesn’t just pay off when challenged with PRRS. In fact, the TN Tempo has demonstrated enhanced robustness to challenge other pathogens, as well as climatic challenges.
The ability of the TN Tempo to maintain a hearty appetite during such challenges contributes to its robustness. This leads to uniform, efficient and problem-free production.

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