Using the X-ray method to record individual daily feed intake in rainbow trout, we examined the way long-term feed intake should be recorded for selective breeding purposes, and estimated selection potential in feed intake. Daily feed intake displayed low repeatabilities (0.09-0.32), indicating that a minimum of three repeated records are needed for accurate recording at a fixed age. To effectively breed for feed intake over the whole growing period, it is necessary to determine feed intake at different ages, as shown by the moderate phenotypic and genetic correlations between daily feed intake recorded at 140 g, 750 g and 2000 g. Heritability for daily feed intake was low (average h2=0.07), showing modest genetic potential for selection. We conclude that repeated observations at several life stages are needed to ensure the accuracy of long-term feed intake estimates.

A. Kause, D. Tobin, A. Dobly, D. Houlihan, S. Martin, Esa A Mäntysaari, O. Ritola, K. Ruohonen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 09.09, 2006
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