Research: The Breeding Programme
For more than 55 years Rattlerow has meticulously followed a policy of extensive testing and selection using high health stock combined with strict genetic management procedures to ensure rapid generation turnover. This strategy has helped to maintain Rattlerow’s position as a leading genetics company.
The primary genetic objective remains to maximise the amount of high quality lean meat produced per sow at minimum cost. Rattlerow performance tests each year thousands of animals across a number of farms using only socially acceptable methods to identify superior animals for the next generation. Key components of the programme focus on improving lean tissue growth rate, feed intake, meat quality, reproductive performance and sow longevity. Measurements taken include birth and weaning weights, on and off test weight, 5 carcass ultrasonic and real time scans and conformation assessments.
All test information and reproductive data are sent from the Rattlerow testing centers and multiplication farms to the Rattlerow Genetic Database at head office. Estimated Breeding Values (EBV’s) are calculated using Rattlerow’s BLUP programme. The economic, production and slaughter price data for each market are combined with the EBVs and DNA marker selection results to compute a sire or dam line index which accurately identifies animals of superior financial value.