Hermitage PigBLUP Exchange™
The Hermitage PigBLUP Exchange™ (HPE) has been established to coordinate all breeding programme administration for Hermitage Genetics worldwide. The H.P.E. maintains the vast BLUP database for all Hermitage maternal and terminal line animals and calculates the breeding values for Hermitage nucleus, multiplier and customer herds both domestically and internationally.
The HPE is managed by a dedicated team of pig breeding professionals, led by Consultant Geneticist Professor John Mabry, Director of the Iowa Pork Centre and managed by the Hermitage Geneticist, Mr. Ivar Peeters. Services of the HPE include:
- Maintenance and back-up of the Hermitage PigBLUP database.
- Breeding Programme Administration.
- Breeding Programme support to all Hermitage customers.
- Calculation of Breeding Values for all registered herds.
- Maintenance of the Pedigree Records for all registered herds.
- Servicing all Hermitage Closed Herd Purebred BLUP Programmes (CHPBBP).
- Servicing all Hermitage Closed Herd Rotational Cross BLUP Programmes (CHRCBP).
- Establishing breeding goals for Maternal and Terminal Line populations.
- Monitoring genetic trends relative to established targets for Maternal and Terminal Line populations.
BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Predictor), is a tool used to predict the genetic merit of animals based on their on-farm performance for a group of traits of economic importance to the pig industry. By combining data on each animals individual performance and on all their relatives performance, an E.B.V (Estimated Breeding Value), is calculated for each animal, thereby ensuring that the genetically superior animals are always selected and the maximum rate of genetic progress is achieved each generation.
BLUP, therefore, can be defined as a computer package that uses the performance of all relatives as well as the individual animals own performance, to predict the economic value of the animal. At Hermitage we have developed our own unique BLUP programme, specifically designed to meet the requirements of our customer base.
The Hermitage BLUP system, is specific to both the maternal and terminal populations as follows:
- MLI: Maternal Line Index - This index focuses specifically on the maternal traits including: born alive, feed intake, litter weight, growth rate and backfat ensuring that the top performing maternal line animals are selected each generation.
- TLI: Terminal Line Index - This index focuses specifically on the terminal traits including: growth rate, feed intake, FCE, backfat, muscle depth and lean % ensuring that the top performing terminal line animals are selected each generation.