Genetics of feed intake traits in Czech Large White pig population

Eliška Žáková, Zuzana Krupova, Emil Krupa


Submitted 2020-07-08 | Accepted 2020-08-15 | Available 2020-12-01

Feed represents a substantial proportion of the variable costs of pig production. Feed efficiency is traditionally expressed as the feed conversion ratio (FCR) and more recently as residual feed intake (RFI). Although feed efficiency can be generally improved indirectly by selection for increased growth rate and decreased adipose tissue, a higher genetic response could be achieved through direct selection of feed intake traits. The aim of this study was to provide a pilot analysis of feed intake data of 281 Czech Large White boars. Data were recorded individually using the Feed Intake Recording Equipment in field performance testing from 2018 to 2020. The analysed feed intake traits were average daily feed intake (ADFI), FCR and RFI. RFI was calculated as the deviation of observed ADFI and average population ADFI predicted on the basis of the model, with mid-test metabolic weight and average daily gain as regressors. The heritability estimates were 0.35 and 0.34 for ADFI and FCR, respectively, and the estimate was slightly higher (0.43) for RFI. The genetic standard deviations ranged from 100 to 110 g of feed per day and 103 g of feed per kg of weight gain. The amounts of explained variability by environmental effects of jointly tested animals were from 0.20 to 0.46. The sufficient amount of genetic variability and moderate heritability estimates give the possibility for selection of feed intake traits, although a larger number of animals will be essential to estimate more precise breeding values.

Keywords: animal breeding, pig selection, genetic parameters, feed conversion ratio, residual feed intake


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