Terminal Sire Lines: EASY2IMPROVE
Each Rattlerow sire line has been developed to excel in a number of differing economically important traits. This allows breeders to select the boar line best suited to maximise profitability within their own individual slaughter contract and under their own farm conditions. The accompanying graph demonstrates the key differences in daily gain, lean meat % and killing out % between the three Rattlerow sire lines. The Rattlerow range of boars in addition to conventional performance testing, also benefit from the Rattlerow Seghers biotechnology programme. BETTERgen® muscle+ is a patented gene marker that identifies boars that carry a mutation responsible for increased muscle mass and reduced fat deposition. The marker explains up to 25% of the variation in meat quality traits. As a result, progeny carrying this gene will express lower backfat and improved loin and ham yield and greater total lean meat percentage.Discovered by Gentec, Rattlerow Seghers’ molecular research company, BETTERgen® muscle+ is currently the only gene marker to guarantee more meat and greater uniformity. Pigs carrying the gene have been shown to be less variable and to have a tighter grading profile with fewer out of grade carcasses.
Advanced performance testing
In addition to DNA selection, Rattlerow boars benefit from testing within one of the most technologically advanced systems in operation today in which animals are genetically linked to nucleus populations across three continents. All UK boars are produced and performance tested on nucleus farms owned and managed by Rattlerow. Feed intake, real time scanning and ultrasonics are used to collect accurate information on feed efficiency, growth and carcass quality. Using the Rattlerow BLUP programme individual estimated breeding values (EBVs) are calculated.
The £ index
Economic, production and marketing data are used to combine the EBVs into a single sire line index value called the £ Index. This index reflects the differing financial value of a boar, expressed in terms of the additional profit per litter sired by that boar, relative to all other boars tested. The difference in the £ INDEX value between two boars of a similar line and BETTERgen® status, predicts the financial advantage expected between two litters they might produce.
Boar selection and acclimatisation
Great emphasis is placed on the visual selection of stock throughout the Rattlerow programme. After test and during the specialist hardening off and libido testing, boars are repeatedly assessed on numerous points of conformation and any animal not achieving Rattlerow’s exacting standards is culled. This critical selection over many generations has greatly aided uniformity within the Rattlerow lines.