Sow conformation & performance
This project aims to determine the relationship between sow conformation (assessed at gilt selection) and performance over four parities.
Longevity of sows is important to pig production, both economically and for animal welfare. Low culling rates are associated with increased piglet numbers and health status of the herd.
Since longevity can only be recorded once the sow dies early predictors of longevity are important to enable selection of higher producing sows.
Sow conformation traits measured at gilt selection have shown promising potential as early predictors of sow longevity. The relationship between sow conformation measured at gilt selection and sow performance over four parities will be investigated.
Key methodology: A large existing commercial pig dataset will be examined.
Study production animal health
While his primary work is in the genetic improvement of beef cattle, Professor Wayne Pitchford has also supervised projects in sheep, goats, pigs and deer.
Potential honours projects also exist in the discipline areas of reproduction, meat quality, lamb density, feed efficiency, physiology, animal behaviour and welfare, walk-over-weigh technology, development of statistical methods, forage crop breeding, systems for developing countries, social science, participatory extension, and social media.
Professor Pitchford has good co-supervisors who are closely linked with industry. He always attempts to develop projects that suit your interests and career goals.