Genetic parameters and response to selection for body weight at 11 weeks of age over two generations were estimated in the Ardennaise chicken breed. Estimations were performed with Derivative Free Restricted Maximum Likelihood methodology using MTDFREML program (Boldman et al, 1995). A sire model was assumed, including fixed effects of year and sex. Additive direct heritability was found to be high (h2a=0.48) and suggests that genetic selection for body weight may be effective to improve this trait. Moreover, effectiveness of mass selection was confirmed by the phenotypic results obtained in this experiment since body weight was increased from 926.11 g (206.84 g) to 1148.06 g (135.04 g) in males, and from 766.51 g (176.99 g) to 913.05 g (136.23 g) in females.

J. M Lariviere, C. Michaux, V. Verleyen, M. Erpicum, Pascale Le Roy

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 07.23, 2006
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