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Title: Economic weights for maternal traits of sows, including sow longevity
Contributor(s): Amer, Peter (author); Ludemann, C I (author); Hermesch, Susanne  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.2527/jas.2014-7943
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Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070201 Animal Breeding
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830308 Pigs
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100410 Pigs
Abstract: The objective of this study was to develop a transparent, comprehensive, and flexible model for each trait for the formulation of breeding objectives for sow traits in swine breeding programs. Economic values were derived from submodels considering a typical Australian pig production system. Differences in timing and expressions of traits were accounted for to derive economic weights that were compared on the basis of their relative size after multiplication by their corresponding genetic standard deviation to account for differences in scale and genetic variability present for each trait. The number of piglets born alive had the greatest contribution (27.1%) to a subindex containing only maternal traits, followed by daily gain (maternal; 22.0%) and sow mature weight (15.0%). Other traits considered in the maternal breeding objective were preweaning survival (11.8%), sow longevity (12.5%), gilt age at puberty (8.7%), and piglet survival at birth (3.1%). The economic weights for number of piglets born alive and preweaning piglet survival were found to be highly dependent on the definition of scale of enterprise, with each economic value increasing by approximately 100% when it was assumed that the value of extra output per sow could be captured, rather than assuming a consequent reduction in the number of sows to maintain a constant level of output from a farm enterprise. In the context of a full maternal line index that must account also for the expression of direct genetic traits by the growing piglet progeny of sows, the maternal traits contributed approximately half of the variation in the overall breeding objective. Deployment of more comprehensive maternal line indexes incorporating the new maternal traits described would lead to more balanced selection outcomes and improved survival of pigs. Future work could facilitate evaluation of the economic impacts of desired-gains indexes, which could further improve animal welfare through improved sow and piglet survival. The results justify further development of selection criteria and breeding value prediction systems for a wider range of maternal traits relevant to pig production systems.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Animal Science, 92(12), p. 5345-5357
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1525-3163
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
Journal Article

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