Abstract

Tail-biting (TB) receipt was recorded at the end of the fattening period on 33,266 gilts of the Tai Zumu population, that were raised in groups of 6 to 20 females. This study aimed at quantifying the contribution of social genetic effects to TB receipt, and at assessing the importance of the environment on the genetic expression of this behaviour (GxE). Models for TB receipt included the fixed effects of number of group mates, (herd)-year-month, and the random effects of group, litter, and direct and social additive genetic effects. The model was applied to the complete gilt population and separately to 2 sub-populations, corresponding to 2 of the 3 nucleus herds raising that line, where TB receipt frequency differed and was high enough (>5%). TB receipt was analysed as a linear trait, following a normal distribution with the restricted likelihood methodology applied to an animal model. Social genetic effects contributed 81% to 93% of total heritable variance, which equalled 40 to 80% of phenotypic variation. The variance components varied between herds. The analysis of sire by environment interactions indicated re-ranking of sires between the 2 nucleus herds, according to both their direct and total breeding values. Keywords: social genetic effects, tail-biting receipt, gilt, sire-environment interaction

Laurianne Canario, Loïc Flatres-Grall

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Behaviour, , 572, 2018
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