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Breeding Pyramids

In the 1960ís and 70ís the introduction of breeding pyramids designed to take advantage of hybrid vigour led to the establishment of pig breeding companies based on nucleus herds of top quality pedigree pigs.

These are some of the best examples of breeding pyramids:


Two way cross:
Large White crossed with Landrace or Welsh.
The classic two way cross produces a high quality F1 gilt at least cost.

Two Way Cross The classic two way cross produces a high quality F1 gilt at least cost


Three way cross:
The three way cross incorporating the British Duroc that has been selected for female line traits. This unique 3 way cross developed in the UK is able to handle environmental stress at either end of the temperature scale.


Three Way CrossThis unique 3 way cross developed in the UK is able to handle environmental stress at either end of the temperature scale.


The use of pure lines at GGP and GP level minimises genetic lag as GGP boars can be used to produce the commercial gilts whilst maximising economic efficiency by reducing the number of by-products from the breeding pyramids.

Pyramid Pyramid

Separate sire and dam line selection within breeds such as the Large White and Landrace has led to the development of highly efficient purebred commercial sires. In England the purebred Large White sire produces fast growing high lean carcasses for fresh pork production whilst in Northern Ireland the demand for bacon carcasses has led to the development of terminal sire Landrace lines.
 

High Health Nucleus Herds

The recognition of the need to test in a high health environment in order to maximise genetic improvement has led the establishment of high health nucleus herds. Strict movement licensing requirements adopted by the pig industry have ensured the maintenance of excellent bio-security in the face of many disease challenges.

 
 

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