Ascites, also known as water belly, is a growth-related disorder of broilers that occurs more often in fast growing birds and at low temperatures. This syndrome has been a source of concern to the poultry industry for the last decades. It has been estimated that ascites accounts for losses of about US $ 1 billion annually around the world (Maxwell and Robertson, 1997). For developing selection strategies to reduce ascites, the genetic parameters such as heritability and genetic correlations among ascites related traits should be known.  Several studies reported moderate to high heritabilities for ascites related traits (Lubritz et al., 1995 ; De Greef et al., 2001 ; Moghadam et al., 2001 ; Pakdel et al., 2002). This offers perspectives for selection against this syndrome. Only few studies reported genetic correlations among ascites related traits. Moghadam et al. (2001) reported a positive genetic correlation between ascites and body weight where traits were measured under normal climatic conditions. However, under cold conditions, De Greef et al. (2001) reported a negative genetic correlation between ascites and body weight. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic and phenotypic correlations for ascites related traits under cold conditions.

A. Pakdel, Johan AM van Arendonk, A. LJ Vereijken, Henk Bovenhuis

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 13, , 13.16, 2002
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