Author(s): Nurgiartiningsih VM, Mielenz N, Preisinger R, Schmutz M, Schueler L
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Abstract (1) The study was conducted to estimate the heritability, genetic correlations and breeding values of laying hens based on individual records and group mean records. (2) Records of two pure lines from a commercial breeding programme of White Leghorns from three generations housed in single cages and in group cages were used. A total of 8483 and 8817 individual records of lines A and D, respectively, and a total of 1358 (line A) and 1161 (line D) group mean records were analysed. (3) An animal model using Restricted Maximum Likelihood (REML) was used to estimate variance components of individual records. Group mean records were analysed using the sire model, taking heterogeneity of error variance and correlated residual effects into account. Breeding values of sires were estimated based on the BLUP method using a multivariate sire model. Spearman Rank correlations were used to compare sire breeding values estimated from individual records and from group mean records. The traits studied were monthly egg production, cumulative production and egg weight. (4) Heritability estimates based on individual records were higher than from group mean records. Heritabilities for cumulative production records were higher than for monthly production, based on individual as well as group mean records. The estimates of genetic correlations between monthly egg production and cumulative production were moderate to high. Egg production and egg weight recorded individually were highly genetically correlated with those recorded on group means. Sire breeding values estimated from individual records showed high correlations with those from group mean records. (5) Differences in the ranking of sire breeding values estimated from individual vs group mean records were negligible, indicating that no genotype x environment interaction exists. Selection based on individual performance records of laying hens housed in single cages could give a good response on performance of laying hens housed in group cages. Cumulative egg production over periods 1 to 6 is the best trait for the selection programme.
This article was published in Br Poult Sci
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering