Genetic parameters of ascites-related traits in broilers: effect of cold and normal temperature conditions

A. Pakdel, J.A.M. van Arendonk, A.L.J. Vereijken, H. Bovenhuis

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25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ascites syndrome is a growth-related disorder of broilers that occurs more often in fast-growing birds and at low temperatures. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic and phenotypic correlations among ascites-related traits measured either under cold or under normal temperature conditions, and to estimate genetic correlations between ascites-related traits measured under cold and normal conditions.2. Several traits related to ascites were measured on more than 4000 chickens under cold conditions and on more than 700 chickens under normal conditions.3. The heritability estimates for body weight (BW) measured under cold and normal conditions were 0·42 and 0·50, respectively, for haematocrit value 0·46 and 0·17, respectively, and for ratio of right to total ventricular weight 0·45 and 0·12, respectively.4. The genetic correlation between BW and haematocrit value under cold conditions was -0·23 and between BW and ratio of right to total ventricular weight -0·27. Under normal conditions, however, these genetic correlations were 0·55 and 0·50, respectively.5. These results demonstrate that the heritability estimates of ascites-related traits as well as genetic correlations between ascites-related traits and BW depend on the temperature conditions under which animals are kept.6. Strong positive genetic correlations (around 0·8) were observed between total mortality, fluid in the abdomen and ratio of right to total ventricular weight under cold conditions. The genetic correlation between ratio of right to total ventricular weight under cold and normal conditions was 0·91.7. These results suggest that the ratio of right to total ventricular weight measured under normal temperature conditions might serve as a good indicator trait for ascites
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • pulmonary-hypertension syndrome
  • chickens
  • populations
  • growth
  • values
  • blood
  • feed

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