Feed efficiency is now an important issue in poultry breeding industry. Generally breeders have relied on correlated improvement in feed efficiency due to direct selection for egg production. The improvement in feed efficiency is in fact primarily due to increased egg mass which today’s hen produces. Direct measurement of feed consumption may become of more value if the present rate of progress in egg production cannot be maintained in future (Bentsen, 1983). In a comprehensive study Pauw et al. (1986) concluded that feed efficiency for egg production had a real genetic basis and information on feed consumption should be incorporated in a selection programme. Combined evidence of Hagger and Abplanalp (1978), Bentsen (1983) and Nordskog et al. (1991) suggested that information on feed consumption records if used in a selection programme should enhance genetic gain in egg production efficiency. Out of the total feed consumed after taking into consideration production and maintenance requirement, around 35-40% of feed consumed goes unexplained which is known as residual feed consumption. Recently residual feed consumption has been introduced as a measure of net feed efficiency. Hence any attempt to reduce the cost of feed at a genetic level will result in substantial improvement in income over production. For bringing about genetic improvement, nature of gene action involved and the association of the various feed efficiency traits with important production traits is necessary for formulation of appropriate breeding programme. Therefore in this study an attempt has been made to evaluate the inheritance of various feed efficiency traits and their association with other important production traits in a White Leghorn pure line previously selected for egg production.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 10, , 10.18, 2002
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