Estimation of genetic parameter for feed efficiency and resilience traits in three pig breeds

C. Homma, K. Hirose, T. Ito, M. Kamikawa, S. Toma, S. Nikaido, M. Satoh, Y. Uemoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, automatic feeders have become popular for collecting daily feed intake data in the pig industry, making it possible to evaluate genetic effects on feed efficiency and resilience traits, expressed as day-to-day fluctuations in feeding records. This study aimed to understand the influence of genetic factors on feed efficiency traits, including residual intake and BW gain (RIG), and resilience traits, as well as to compare the differences in genetic parameter estimates among three purebred pig breeds. A total of 6 103 pigs from three breeds (Large White: 1 193 pigs, Landrace: 3 010 pigs, and Duroc: 1 900 pigs) were raised in a specific pathogen-free environment. The growth and feed intake records during the testing period were obtained using automatic feeders, and the average daily gain (ADG) and average feed intake (AFI) were calculated. Feed conversion ratio (FCR), residual feed intake (RFI), residual gain, and RIG were calculated as feed efficiency traits, and the log-transformed variance of deviation for the daily feed intake (LnVar_FI), daily occupation time (LnVar_OC), and the daily number of visits to the feeder (LnVar_VT) was calculated as resilience traits. After estimating the genetic parameters for each breed, a meta-analysis was performed to obtain the weighted mean of heritability estimates (hm2) and genetic correlation estimates (GCm) for the three breeds. The hm2 were moderate and ranged from 0.31 to 0.39 for feed efficiency traits and 0.31 to 0.40 for resilience traits, and there were no significant differences in heritability estimates among the three breeds except for AFI, RFI, and RIG. For feed efficiency traits, the FCR and RIG showed favourably moderate GCm with AFI (0.29 and −0.33, respectively) and ADG (−0.39 and 0.31, respectively). For resilience traits, the LnVar_FI and LnVar_VT showed favourably low to moderate GCm with FCR (0.33 and 0.28, respectively) and RIG (−0.37 and 0.28, respectively), and there were no genetic relationships of LnVar_OC with FCR and RIG (the absolute value of GCm was 0.01). There was no significant difference in the genetic correlation estimates among the three breeds for feed efficiency and resilience traits. Our results suggest that feed efficiency and resilience traits were heritable, and resilience traits showed favourable or no genetic correlation with feed efficiency traits. In addition, the influence of genetic factors on feed efficiency and resilience traits could be the same among breeds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100384
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Feeding records
  • Genetic correlation
  • Heritability
  • Meta-analysis
  • Purebred pigs


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