Genetic parameters for large white pigs reared under intensive management systems in Kenya

DOI: 10.1080/00128325.2016.1219544
Author(s): V. O. OukoDepartment of Animal Science, Kenya, E.D. IlatsiaKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya, G. W. OduhoDepartment of Animal Science, Kenya, D. K. KiosDepartment of Animal Science, Kenya


A lack of performance parameters is one of the factors limiting the implementation of sustainable breeding strategies for the pig industry in Kenya. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic and phenotypic parameters for growth performance of Large White pigs reared under intensive management systems in Kenya. Growth performance data of 1398 pigs with 10 428 records were obtained from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)-Naivasha. Random regression models were used to estimate variance components by fitting different orders of Legendre polynomials. Phenotypic variance increased with age from 3.43±0.28 to 2449.28±392.07, while direct heritability ranged between 0.20±0.04 and 0.52±0.08. Maternal heritability increased from 0.26±0.05 to 0.79±0.04 while permanent environmental heritability was between 0±0.01 and 0.15±0.10. Genetic correlations were greater than 0.48 between all weights and decreased with an increase in age intervals. The first three eigenvalues of the coefficient matrix of the additive genetic covariance accounted for 98.62% of the sum of the eigenvalues. Growth was highly heritable at pre-weaning and influenced by maternal and common environmental effects. The prospect for selection for high sale weights based on pre-weaning growth performance is evident based on the high genetic correlations among body weight measurements.

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