Variance and covariance components for liability of piglet survival during different periods

  • Su G
  • Sorensen D
  • Lund M
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Abstract

Variance and covariance components for piglet survival in different
periods were estimated from individual records of 133 004 Danish
Landrace piglets and 89 928 Danish Yorkshire piglets, using a liability
threshold model including both direct and maternal additive genetic
effects. At the individual piglet level, the estimates of direct
heritability in Landrace were 0.035, 0.057 and 0.027, and in Yorkshire
the estimates were 0.012, 0.030 and 0.025 for liability of survival
at farrowing (SVB), from birth to day 5 (SV5) and from day 6 to weaning
(SVW), respectively. The estimates of maternal heritability for SVB,
SV5 and SVW were, respectively, 0.057, 0.040 and 0.030 in Landrace,
and 0.050, 0.038 and 0.019 in Yorkshire. Both direct and maternal
genetic correlations between the three survival traits were low and
not significantly different from zero, except for a moderate direct
genetic correlation between SVB and SV5 and between SV5 and SVW in
Landrace. Direct and maternal genetic correlations between piglet
birth weight (BW) and SV5 were moderately high, but the correlations
between BW and SVB and between BIN and SVW were low and most of them
were not significantly different from zero. These results suggest
that effective genetic improvement in piglet survival before weaning
by selection should be based on both direct and maternal additive
genetic effects and treat survival in different periods as different
traits.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Direct heritability
  • Genetic correlation
  • Maternal heritability
  • Piglet survival

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Authors

  • G. Su

  • D. Sorensen

  • M. S. Lund

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