Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R3117



Summary and Implications

At Iowa State University, purebred Yorkshire pigs have been divergently selected for increased and decreased feed efficiency based on residual feed intake for ten generations. In this study, juvenile IGF-I serum concentrations were measured in these divergently selected lines, with the goal of validating juvenile IGF-I as an early blood bio-marker to help select young piglets for later feed efficiency performance.

Previous findings (Bunter et al., 2002, 2005, 2010) and this validation study support that lower juvenile IGF-I concentration in piglets is genetically correlated with increased grow-finish feed efficiency. IGF-I concentration is a moderately heritable trait that is more cost and time effective to measure than feed intake and feed efficiency. These characteristics make IGF-I a useful bio-marker for feed efficiency in swine.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University