The Danish breeding system for pigs, DanAvl, is world-class. More than 100 years of dedicated selection and breeding on the pigs gives the best meat quality and best production economy. This has given the Danish pig producers a giant lead ahead of our international competitors. Selection methods today are based on comprehensive recordings and research in few selected pig herds and subsequent analysis of this data in which both advanced theory and computer power are necessary.
DanAvl is the joint trademark in the Danish pig breeding system. Pig Research Centre is in charge of prioritizing and coordinating tasks in this system and the work is thus organized for pig producers by pig producers. A very important part of this work takes place in the breeding and multiplier herds in DanAvl.
The breeding and multiplication herds in DanAvl are contractually subject to a comprehensive set of rules laid down by Pig Research Centre.
The number of breeding and multiplication herds affiliated with DanAvl has decreased over the last years. In 1980, there were 250 breeders with 8.500 sows and 150 multiplication herds with the same number of sows. Today, April 2014, we have 26 breeders with 6.200 sows and 125 Danish multiplication herds with approximately 60.000 sows (excluding breeding herds with multiplication). Besides the Danish multiplication herds, DanAvl has 77 multiplication herds outside of Denmark with approximately 27.000 sows, and this number is still increasing.
These herds are owned by private pig producers who have a contract with Pig Research Centre on conduction of breeding and multiplication work.
The breeding herds are subject to minimum sizes: no breeding herd must have less than 100 sows in Duroc and minimum 136 sows in Yorkshire and Landrace. The largest breeding herds conduct breeding with all three breeds.
There are several reasons for these restrictions; in small herds it is not possible to conduct proper on-farm testing as it is impossible to calculate sufficiently accurate estimates for environmental effects in small herds.
For more information about the structure, description of breeds, parties involved in DanAvl breeding data, news and more see www.danavl.com.