Survival in laying hens: genetic parameters for direct and associative effects in the reciprocal crosses of two purebred layer lines

K.L.M. Peeters, T.T. Eppink, E.D. Ellen, J. Visscher, P. Bijma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Survival in purebred laying hens is known to be influenced by social interactions (Craig and Muir, 1996). A bird’s chance to survive is highly influenced by the cannibalistic behaviour of its cage members. As these negative social interactions are undesirable from both welfare and economic perspectives (Albentosa et al., 2003), measures, such as beak-trimming, are taken to minimize mortality due to cannibalism. In order to put a ban on beak-trimming in a sensible sound way, breeding programs are now aiming for the genetic improvement of laying hens so that they become more sociable. When improving traits affected by social interactions, one should add an associative component to the traditional model. The associative effect represents the heritable effect an individual has on the phenotype of another individual. When accounting for this effect, an individual’s chance to survive is not only considered to be affected by the direct effect of the individual, but also by the associative effects of its cage members. When neglecting the associative effects, response to selection could move in the opposite direction (Griffing, 1967; Wade, 1976). So far, genetic parameters for direct and associative effects have been estimated in purebred layer lines only (Ellen et al., 2008). These parameters give insight in the magnitude of the associative effects. Genetic parameters estimated in purebreds, however, can not simply be extrapolated to crossbreds. Moreover, since improvement of crossbred performance is the ultimate breeding goal, the evaluation of purebred lines based on the performance of their crossbred offspring is of most interest. Therefore, we estimated the genetic parameters for direct and associative effects on survival in the reciprocal crosses of two purebred layer lines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production
Pages575-575
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event9th WCGALP, Leipzig, Germany -
Duration: 1 Aug 20106 Aug 2010

Conference

Conference9th WCGALP, Leipzig, Germany
Period1/08/106/08/10

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