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Selection in pigs for increased lean growth rate on a time-based feeding scale

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

C. P. McPhee
Affiliation:
Department of Primary Industries, Animal Research Institute, 665 Fairfield Road, Yeerongpilly, Queensland 4105, Australia
G. A. Rathmell
Affiliation:
Department of Primary Industries, Animal Research Institute, 665 Fairfield Road, Yeerongpilly, Queensland 4105, Australia
L. J. Daniels
Affiliation:
Department of Primary Industries, Animal Research Institute, 665 Fairfield Road, Yeerongpilly, Queensland 4105, Australia
N. D. Cameron
Affiliation:
AFRC Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research, Edinburgh Research Station, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JQ
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Abstract

Selection was carried out in a line of pigs for increased growth rate of lean tissue. The selection criterion was weight of lean in the ham predicted from live backfat and weight measurements after a 12-week performance test commencing at 25 kg live weight. All pigs were given the same total amount of food over the test period. The scale was set to about proportionately 0·85 of predicted ad libitum intake. Boars selected with an intensity of 1/12 were used for 6 months and sows selected with an intensity of 1/4 were kept for two farrowings. An unselected control line was maintained concurrently.

After five generations, performances of selected and control line pigs were compared on ad libitum and scale feeding as they grew to 85 kg. Responses in the selected line on scale feeding were +51 g/day for growth rate (GR), −0·16 for food conversion ratio (FCR), −2·2 mm for backfat (F) and +0·47 kg for ham lean (HL). On ad libitum feeding, responses were much higher in the selected line, giving rise to line × food interactions. Responses were +128 g/day for GR, −0·27 for FCR, −2·3 mm for F, +1·01 kg for HL and +0·15 kg/day for food intake (FI). Estimates of the heritability of HL from variance components were 0·43 (s.e. 0·15) on scale feeding and 0·28 (s.e. 0·19) on ad libitum feeding. The realized heritability of HL on scale feeding was 0·29 (s.e. 0·04) and its co-heritabilities with the other traits on both feeding levels were of similar magnitude to its heritability. Scale feeding exposed genetic variation in the partitioning of food between lean and fat deposition and appeared to be a suitable selection regimen for performance on ad libitum feeding.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1988

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