The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of including feed intake records of boars on the genetic gain for feed efficiency. Data were obtained from a Duroc nucleus herd within a Chinese company's breeding system. The data obtained included ADG, feed conversion ratio (FG), ADFI, days to 115 kg, backfat depth, and loin muscle area. The ADG, FG, and ADFI data were obtained from 570 Duroc boars housed in pens with electronic feeders (FIRE, Feed Intake Recording Equipment, Osborne Industries, Osborne, KS). There were 4,984 Duroc boar and 4,809 gilt progeny. Two sets of estimated breeding values for ADG, FG, ADFI, days to 115 kg, backfat depth, and loin muscle area were estimated using a multivariate animal model, with and without data collected from the FIRE feeders. Terminal sire indices were calculated based on the production costs and market prices for the United States and China. A 2-stage selection procedure was applied with the heaviest sound boars (mean age = 130 ± 17 d) being tested in the FIRE feeder and then the top 100 being selected for breeding. The terminal sire index value gain estimated with ADFI data included was 9.3% greater than the estimates that did not include the ADFI data. The estimated genetic gain for FG with ADFI data was 17% greater than the same annual estimated genetic gain without ADFI data. Overall, there is a substantial genetic gain of FG when individual ADFI records of boars were included in the selection index.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Data collection and assistance were provided by Paul Jacobs; breeding technicians from Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Breeding Pig, Shanghai, China; and the National Swine Registry. Funding was provided by Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Breeding Pig, Shanghai, China. A portion of the salaries of M. M. Schutz and A. P. Schinckel was provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through Hatch and Smith-Lever funds.
© 2019 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists
- 2-stage selection
- daily feed intake
- feed efficiency
- genetic progress