Genetic improvement of the reproductive performance of pigs is important for pig breeding despite their low heritabilities. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of selection concerning reproductive traits and to determine the optimal number of parity records required for accurate estimation of breeding values (BVs) in the open population of a commercial pig breeding company. The study used records of 2220 purebred Large White pigs (9845 litters) farrowed between 1998 and 2009 in the two herds of the Pacific Ocean Breeding Co. Ltd. The traits studied included farrowing interval (FI), total number of piglets at birth (TNB), average weaning weight per litter (AWW), and raising rate (RR). A statistical model was applied to the 4-trait repeatability animal model. The heritabilities of FI, TNB, AWW and RR were low. The genetic trends in TNB (h 2=0.09) showed approximately 1.0 increase in 6years from 2003 to 2008. The predicted error variances indicated that up to fourth parity records are necessary for accurate genetic evaluation. The present study results indicated that even reproductive traits with low heritability can be improved.
- Genetic trend
- Litter size
- Prediction error variance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)