Look at the barbecue photo above and imagine a better future--if such a thing is even possible!
Jeff Braun, a farmer in Mount Gambier, South Australia, has bred pigs for the past 30 years. Pigs are unusual in that they can vary in the number of ribs, ranging from 13 to 17 ribs. Braun wants to breed pigs to have 16 or 17 ribs, which increases their meat capacity. Additionally, longer sows have larger udders that produce more milk. ABC reports:
"A sow has double the butter fat and double the milk solids in its milk compared to a dairy cow and when we look at the 21-day litter weights we are now achieving, it has to produce more milk solids in a day than the best dairy cows in the world," Mr Braun said.
"We can alter the length and the capacity of that udder as we change the length of the middle.
"By selecting for sows with 16 to 17 ribs we can get 30 per cent more udder capacity."
Most sows at Myora Farm now deliver 21-day litter weights of more than 100 kilograms.
"Europe is typically averaging 80 kilograms," Mr Braun said.
"This has enabled us to now produce a 100 kg live weight animal by 16 weeks of age, which is also some of the highest growth rates of animals in the world."
Myora Farm pigs are also resistant to E. coli and the next goal is to eliminate all respiratory diseases, along with the need to administer vaccinations.
-via Modern Farmer