The value of incorporating carcass trait phenotypes in terminal sire selection indexes to improve carcass weight and quality of heavy lambs.

Massender, Erin; Brito, Luiz F.; Cánovas, Angela; Baes, Christine F.; Kennedy, Delma; Schenkel, Flavio S. (2021). The value of incorporating carcass trait phenotypes in terminal sire selection indexes to improve carcass weight and quality of heavy lambs. Journal of animal breeding and genetics, 138(1), pp. 91-107. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/jbg.12484

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Genetic selection for carcass traits is paramount to maximize the profitability and long-term sustainability of any meat-producing livestock species. The main objectives of this research were to evaluate the efficiency of indicator traits for the genetic improvement of lamb carcass traits and to determine the value of including carcass traits into terminal sire selection indexes for the Canadian sheep industry. The carcass traits included hot carcass weight (HCW), fat depth at the GR site (FATGR) and average carcass conformation score (AVGCONF), and were measured on heavy lambs (slaughter age less than 365 days and HCW greater than 16.3 kg) in commercial abattoirs. Growth traits were found to be moderately efficient indicator traits for the genetic improvement of HCW but selection on ultrasound traits was necessary to substantially improve the carcass quality traits (FATGR and AVGCONF). Economic selection indexes were designed by adding various combinations of carcass traits into the Canadian Sheep Genetic Evaluation System terminal indexes. Records measured on individuals and progeny were assumed to be the sources of information for live animal and carcass traits, respectively. The changes in index accuracy, efficiency and expected correlated response were used to assess the value of their inclusion. HCW was found to have a large economic value, and its inclusion into terminal selection indexes was expected to substantially increase their accuracy (0.08-0.12 points) and efficiency (20%-30%). However, further including FATGR (measured 110 mm from the carcass midline over the 12th rib) and AVGCONF had little impact on the accuracy (≤0.03) and efficiency (1%-7%) of the proposed indexes. Thus, the inclusion of carcass traits into the existing terminal selection indexes could be beneficial for the genetic improvement of HCW, but further research is needed to determine optimal methods of increasing carcass fatness and muscularity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Baes, Christine Francoise

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0931-2668

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christine Francoise Baes

Date Deposited:

05 Aug 2020 08:28

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2020 01:31

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jbg.12484

PubMed ID:

32529716

Uncontrolled Keywords:

carcass quality carcass weight genetic improvement lamb selection index terminal sire

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145573

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145573

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