Measuring body composition in breeding animals is important for improvement of feed efficiency, growth, health, meat quality and market value of farmed animals. Since 2008, Norsvin has been using Computed Tomography (CT) as a tool for measuring body composition in breeding pigs (boars). CT is an in vivo technique, which measures the body composition of a live pig. In order to move towards the next level of precision, not only focusing on the whole body composition of fat, muscle and bone, we need to get anatomical data from the animal. Yield of cuts (ham, belly, loin and shoulder) and internal organs size and volume, are important traits with respect to efficiency, health and market value of the animals. We need to build automatic algorithms in order to analyze, process and gather anatomical data in a large scale breeding system. Today, we are not able to accurately cut the animal into its anatomical pieces in a large scale and automated way. To be able to distinguish between the different meat cuts anatomical labeled atlases from CT have to be developed and new samples to these labeled atlases have to be recorded automatically by image registration The planned innovation is to implement the use of anatomical atlases from CT in a commercial breeding program for pigs. As far as we know, this is the first attempt to use anatomical atlases from CT in a commercial breeding program, and represents an entirely new way of analyzing images and data from CT scans in a livestock breeding environment. This project will present a novel approach to its kind to study the development and use of anatomical atlases from CT scans of breeding pigs in animal genetics.
Project leader: Jørgen Kongsro
Institution: NORSVIN R&D AS