Incidence of genotype by environment interactions on the choice of selection criterion to better feed conversion ratio was investigated in French label chickens. Animals of the same families were reared either in cage (C) or in extensive (E) environment. The former is the only way to individually record FCR. The latter, in which animals have access to open-air from 6 weeks on, corresponds to the production environment. Estimated genetic correlations between traits in E and C environments showed that genotype by environment interactions were present on growth curve parameters and on carcass traits but not on body weight at 8 weeks and at slaughter. Direct selection on feed conversion ratio or residual food consumption is possible regarding to their heritability (0.31 and 0.45). Ignoring possible genotype by environment interactions, i.e. considering only C performances lead to choose abdominal fatness as the best indirect selection criterion of both FCR and RES. However, when interactions are taken into account, i.e. considering E performances, growth curve parameters are better selection criterion.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 07.14, 2006
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