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Second newsletter of the LowInputBreeds project now available

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(April 27, 2010) 

The second newsletter of the LowInputBreeds project provides brief state-of-the-arts reports on two themes within the project: the concept of flower breeding in pigs and alternative breeding approaches in laying hens. Furthermore, the newsletter contains reports about progress in the subprojects which focus on the major livestock production systems.

Organic and low input pig and poultry farmers usually use genotypes/breeds selected for performance under intensive production systems. However, these animals may not be the best under more extensive organic and free-range conditions. On-farm breeding would be an option to overcome the gap between genetic potential and site-specific performance. But, in contrast to other livestock species, on-farm breeding of pigs and poultry is not widely practiced. The reports in this newsletter present two alternative approaches. Both use information on the animal’s performance under extensive conditions and knowledge of experienced farmers. This information is combined with the advantages of a larger breeding population and specialist knowledge from industry partners.

The LowInputBreeds project unites 21 partners from Europe and further afield and will develop integrated breeding and management strategies to tackle the issue of improved animal health and food quality. It will run until 2014 and is co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Veronika Maurer of FiBL is the project's scientific coordinator. 

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