All Hermitage Terminal line females that are selected for breeding in the nucleus herd have an individual FCR below 2.40 which is generated during the feeding period from 58kg to 110kg bodyweight. Their progeny when mated with boars of FCR below 2.10 are now targeting an improvement of on average 0.10; an improvement of 0.10 in FCR in a 600 sow unit has a net value of approximately €40,000. In addition Hermitage Terminal boars are being selected for low P2, high lean and muscle depth to maximise lean meat yield of the slaughter generation; while the Hermitage Terminal lines P2 and lean meat percentage are being closely monitored to ensure satisfactory reserves are available during reproduction.
Hermitage Feed Efficiency Recording
Hermitage has made significant investment in infrastructure for the accurate measuring of FCR on an individual basis. 55 feed stations are in operation which can hold 825 pigs on a given day. In the last 18 months we have successfully individually FCR tested 7400 pigs across both our terminal and maternal lines. All pigs are weighed at the start and at the end of the test period. In combination with feed intake data the feed conversion efficiency is calculated. Feed conversion efficiency is then used in combination with other traits of importance for the maternal and terminal lines to select replacement breeding boars for the Hermitage stud and replacement breeding females for the Hermitage nucleus farm.
Test Period Summary:
- Approximate start weight of 58kg and approximate end weight of 110kg.
- Pigs balanced by breed, sex and weight.
- 3 days acclimatisation period – transponders are put in day 3, pigs are weighed and recording commences (access is restricted to one pig at a time).
- Pigs fed commercial fattener pellet diet.