Breeding is a science

Our extensive breeding work is based on Danish Genetics' strong breeding programme.
The programme was developed in collaboration with leading geneticists from the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University, which is a key player in the development of animal breeding and genetics and at the forefront of the latest research, knowledge and expertise. The Roslin Institute is a world-wide leader within genetics, genome selection and biotechnology.

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As an important part of our breeding work, we gather a large amount of data on our genetic population. The decision about which data to collect is determined by Danish Genetics’ breeding targets. All the data is analysed and processed by Roslin Technologies to ensure that our genetics and breeding animals remain world-class.

Breeding targets

The success of a breeding programme depends not only on the programme itself but also on the breeding targets you set yourself. We want to continuously improve the breeding targets to maximise our customers’ profit from their pig production.

Breeding targets that produce good financial returns

The breeding target is an expression of all the traits we want to improve in the different breeds we work with.
In principle, Breeding Center Rønshauge sets its breeding targets based on the financial considerations of both the pig producer and the slaughterhouse. This is unique in the world and means that we take the entire value chain into consideration from the genetic basis to food production.

Our breeding targets and breeding programme are designed to optimise the business of our customers and maximise the profit from their pig production. Requirements, legislation and needs change constantly, and we make sure that our breeding programme is up-to-date. We therefore analyse our breeding data on an ongoing basis and compare the data with market surveys to determine whether breeding targets should be adjusted, and whether there is evidence to support the introduction of completely new breeding targets for the benefit of our customers’ pig production.

Our strong genetic population and the traits we have targeted in our breeding constitute the foundation of our work. This includes aspects such as growth rate, feed utilisation, the birth of live piglets, meat percentage, longevity and strength. However, as part of the extensive development work we have commenced in collaboration with Roslin Technologies, we analyse the traits and our breeding targets to determine jointly with our customers what new traits would increase our customers’ profit levels.

A breeding index is the key

As a result of the work done by the geneticists to process a continuous flow of data on our genetic population, the production economy of the individual breeding animals is determined on the basis of a calculated breeding value, in daily speech called breeding index. The breeding index is the key to the selection of the best breeding animals for future generations. We calculate the breeding index weekly for all animals in the breeding programme based on the composition of the breeding animal’s own data and data from the breeding animal’s relatives.