Estimation of genetic parameters for monthly egg production in laying hens based on random regression models
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. Heritability and genetic correlations of monthly egg production under random regression models were estimated. Three layer lines (A22, A88, K66) in six consecutive generations were analysed. A22 (13,770 recorded hens) and A88 (13,950 recorded hens) are maternal lines of Rhode Island White birds selected on egg production and shell colour; K66 (9,351 recorded birds) is a paternal line of Rhode Island Red birds selected on egg weight. Eight models with different orders of Legendre polynomials were applied. Adequacy of the models was checked by the Akaike Information Criterion. According to the most adequate model including second order Legendre polynomials for fixed effects and third order for additive genetic and permanent environmental effects, relatively high heritabilities were estimated in the first (h2=0.3) and final (h2 above 0.3) periods of production with a substantial decrease in heritability during the egg production peak. Methodology based on random regression animal models can be recommended for genetic evaluation of laying hens.
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T. Szwaczkowski, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland