Phenotypic mass selection for increased 70-d body weight (BW) was carried out for five generations in a synthetic sire line of rabbits (n = 1,453). Additional growth and carcass traits recorded were: 28-d weaning weight; 28 to 70 d average daily gain; carcass yield, and proportion and lean-to-bone ratio of the loin primal cut. A full animal model (univariate and bivariate) utilizing a derivative-free restricted maximum likelihood algorithm was used to estimate genetic parameters and trends. Heritabilities for direct genetic effects ranged from .02 to .14 for growth traits, and from .42 to .50 for carcass traits. Divergence between select and control line rabbits for BW was 111 g (5.4%) after five generations of mass selection. Genetic and environmental (common dam and (or) litter and residual) correlations were all positive and moderate to high in magnitude (range of .38 to .96) between BW and growth and carcass traits.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 19. Selection and quantitative genetics; growth; reproduction; lactation; fish; fiber; meat., , 119–122, 1994
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