An attempt of using public ambient temperature data in swine genetic evaluation for litter-size traits at birth in Japan

Hitomi Hara, Shinichiro Ogawa, Chika Ohnishi, Kazuo Ishii, Yoshinobu Uemoto, Masahiro Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Context: Large-scale genetic evaluation is promising for efficiently improving sow lifetime productivity, and therefore, a reasonable operational model should be pursued to analyse phenotypic data collected from around Japan, where unique seasonality exists. However, the information on establishing the model is currently insufficient. Aims: To obtain the fundamental information on using ambient temperature information in developing the model for routine swine genetic evaluation in Japan, by analysing total number born, number born alive, and number stillborn collected at a Japanese farm, together with off-farm ambient temperature measured at the nearest Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System station. Methods: Five repeatability animal models were exploited, considering the effects of farrowing season (Model 1), farrowing month (Model 2), quadratic regressions of daily maximum ambient temperature of farrowing day (Model 3), season and temperature (Model 4), or month and temperature (Model 5). Key results: Patterns of the effects of daily maximum temperature of farrowing day estimated using Model 3 were similar to those of farrowing season by Model 1 and those of farrowing month by Model 2. Adding the effect of daily maximum temperature of farrowing day (Models 4 and 5) could explain phenotypic variability better than only considering either of farrowing season or month (Models 1 and 2). Estimated heritability was stable among the models and the rank correlation of predicted breeding values among models was >0.98 for all traits. Conclusions: The results indicated the possibility that using public ambient temperature can capture a large part of the phenotypic variability in litter-size traits at birth caused by seasonality in Japan. Implications: This study could support the availability of public meteorological data in the development of flexible operational models for future swine genetic evaluation in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1500
Number of pages13
JournalAnimal Production Science
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 31


  • genetic parameter estimation
  • heat
  • meteorological observation data
  • number born alive
  • number stillborn
  • on- A nd off-farm ambient temperature
  • pig breeding
  • season

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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