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Genetic parameters for feed efficiency and body weight traits in Japanese quail

Nasiri Foomani, N., Zerehdaran, S., Ahani Azari, M., Lotfi, E.
British poultry science 2014 v.55 no.3 pp. 298-304
Coturnix japonica, body weight, computer software, feed conversion, feed intake, genetic correlation, heritability, selection index
1. The objectives of the present study were to estimate heritability and genetic correlations for feed efficiency and body weight (BW) in Japanese quail. 2. Recorded traits during different weeks of the growing period were BW from hatch to 35 d, feed intake (FI), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and residual feed intake (RFI) from hatch to 28 d of age. 3. Genetic parameters were estimated by restricted maximum likelihood method using ASREML software. The results showed that heritability estimates for BW ranged from 0.11 to 0.22, and maternal permanent environmental effect was the highest at hatch (0.45). FCR, RFI and FI showed moderate heritabilities ranging from 0.13 to 0.40. 4.Genetic correlations of BW ₂₈ with FI ₀–₂₈ (0.88) and RFI ₀–₂₈ (0.1) and genetic correlation of FI ₀–₂₈ with FCR ₀–₂₈ (0.13) and RFI ₀–₂₈ (0.52) were positive. A negative genetic correlation was found between BW ₂₈ and FCR ₀–₂₈ (−0.49). There was a high positive genetic correlation (0.67) between RFI ₀–₂₈ and FCR ₀–₂₈. 5. In conclusion, selection for increased BW and reduced FI in a selection index could be recommended to improve feed efficiency traits including FCR and RFI in Japanese quail.