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Comparison of the multi-trait animal model and the traditional repeatability model was carried out using data obtained from 6,424 Landrace and 20,835 Yorkshire sows farrowed from January 2000 to April 2018 in order to estimate genetic parameters for litter traits at different parities. Specifically, records of the total number born (TNB), number born alive (NBA), total number of mortality (MORT), number of stillborn (NSB) and number of mummified pigs (MUM) were used. Although results showed the heterogeneity of heritability for litter traits at different parities, the mean heritability estimates from the multi-trait model were found to be higher than those of the repeatability model for all traits in both pig breeds. In terms of genetic correlation between parities, a slight difference in genetic control in the first parity was noted for TNB and NBA in Landrace and Yorkshire pigs. The correlation between the first parity and later parities ranged from 0.48 to 0.74 for TNB and NBA in both breeds. Moreover, genetic correlation between parities for MORT and NSB was observed to be high for parities higher than 2 in Yorkshire pigs. For MUM, genetic correlation between the first and other parities was generally low in both breeds, indicating that culling pigs on the basis of MUM at the first parity could probably be unreasonable. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the multi-trait approach for litter size traits is useful for the accurate estimation of genetic parameters.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Animal science journal = Nihon chikusan Gakkaiho
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