Effect of service sire on litter size traits in Czech Large White and Landrace pigs

https://doi.org/10.17221/5920-CJASCitation:Wolf J., Wolfová M. (2012):  Effect of service sire on litter size traits in Czech Large White and Landrace pigs. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 57: 220-230.
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The proportion of variance for service sire effect was estimated for three litter size traits (numbers of piglets born, born alive, and weaned) in Czech Large White (89 231 litters) and Czech Landrace (28 320 litters) pigs. Each trait in the first parity was considered as one trait and that trait in the second and subsequent parities was treated as a repeated trait. Consequently, three two-trait animal models were evaluated for each litter size trait: (i) the service sire effect was included and the complete relationship matrix for all the animals (service sires and sows) was taken into account; (ii) the service sire effect was included as a random effect without inclusion of the relationship matrix; (iii) the service sire effect was omitted from the model. Using the residual variance as a criterion, both models including the service sire effect were slightly better than the model without this effect. Estimates of genetic parameters were very similar for the two models including the service sire effect. The proportion of variance for service sire was in the range from 2 to 3% (standard error approx. 0.2%) in Czech Large White and 2% (standard error approx. 0.3%) in Czech Landrace for all three litter size traits and all models. Models without service sire effect or models including service sire as a simple random effect and without inclusion of the genetic relationship matrix are recommended for genetic evaluation of litter size traits.  
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