For Topigs Norsvin 2015 is the year of extended testing and developing exciting new products. In Scandinavia and the USA, the Topigs Z-line is replacing Norsvin Yorkshire for parent gilt production. The resulting parent female, the TN70, shows equal value on finishing traits, while being more robust and weaning more pigs. In the December 2014 we reported on the great potential of TN70. In this issue, we take a more detailed look at ongoing benchmark trials comparing TN70 to Norsvin LY.
To assess the impact of a change from Norsvin Yorkshire to Z-line, we compared finishing and carcass performance of TN70 vs. Norsvin LY barrows. A total of 576 barrows, originating from Norwegian multipliers, were compared in a modern test barn in Norway.
Growth performance from 29-117kg was similar for TN70 and Norsvin LY barrows, averaging well over 1000 grams per day. Feed efficiency was significantly better for TN70 barrows, as evidenced by 0.08 points lower feed conversion. Carcass yield was 0.5% higher for TN70, leading to an even higher advantage in feed efficiency when expressed on a carcass weight basis. Higher lean meat percentage was observed for carcasses of Norsvin LY, due to lower back fat levels. Loin depth did not differ between TN70 and Norsvin LY barrows. In conclusion, if production costs and carcass value were taken into account, TN70 barrows achieved equal margins compared with Norsvin LY barrows.
The advantages of TN70 compared with Norsvin LY start to become clear in terms of reproduction performance. We are collecting data from over 100 commercial herds in Norway, Sweden and Finland. TN70 sows have larger litters at birth, consistently lower stillbirth rates, and a higher number of pigs weaned per litter. These differences seem to increase at higher parities. Sow robustness and longevity of TN70 vs. Norsvin LY sows are being assessed. So far, testimonials from customers praise the strength and robustness of the TN70.
In summary, Norsvin LY customers switching to TN70 will get a stronger sow with more pigs while maintaining the same superior finishing and carcass performance.