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Ben Williams

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Defining the benefits of new genotypes

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Research partners: University of Leeds (Pig Development Centre)

Project duration: 2006-2008 

Aims and objectives

  • To provide an independent scientific comparison of three different terminal sire breeds
  • To provide information which can be used by producers when determining appropriate breeding strategies for their particular unit
  • To investigate the response of different genotypes to lysine concentration in the weaner, grower and finisher rations
  • To compare lean meat yield and meat quality from each of the different genotypes
  • To make recommendations on whether the current basis of payment for slaughter pigs should be revised to reflect the different carcase structure of new genotypes
  • To compare the behaviour of the different genotypes in various situations and make recommendations on their suitability for different management systems. 


Based on each part of this study the following characteristics can be attributed to the three breed crosses: 

Hampshire types

  • Rapid growth
  • High feed intake
  • Reduced days to slaughter - particularly suitable for attaining higher slaughter weights
  • Robust
  • Tender meat 

Large White types

  • Moderate growth
  • Low feed intake
  • Good carcase composition - particularly for conventional payment method
  • Good FCR on daily basis 

Pietrain types

  • Moderate growth
  • High feed intake
  • Robust
  • Good carcase composition
  • High lean meat yield, especially prime cuts - particularly suitable for outlets interested in better yield or using the autofom 

In terms of lysine requirement this series of experiments did not identify a need to give different feeds to different cross breeds. Therefore, existing feeds were suitable for all the crossbreds considered here. 

Further information

Summary factsheet