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Keywords:

  • Breeding values;
  • farrowing rate;
  • litters per sow per year;
  • reproductive traits;
  • sow longevity;
  • swine

Summary

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between individual sire estimated breeding values (EBV) for litters/sow/year (LSY) and sire progeny means for farrowing rate (FR), removal parity and lifetime born alive (LTBA). Genetic parameters and breeding values were estimated using ASREML. The heritability estimate for LSY was 0.11. When all sires with 10 or more daughters with records were included in the analysis, Spearman rank correlations between the sire's LSY EBV and the sires' daughter means for FR, removal parity and LTBA were 0.49, 0.23 and 0.25 (p < 0.01). The sire EBV for LSY was favourably correlated with sires' daughter means for all three traits. This provides evidence that selecting sires with high EBV for LSY could improve herd FR, removal parity and LTBA. By including LSY as part of the selection criterion, the LTBA may be indirectly improved. The positive genetic correlation between LTBA and LSY may be a result of the improved longevity of sows with greater LSY compared with sows with lower LSY. The relationships between LSY and FR, removal parity and LTBA are strongly supported by the correlations between the sire progeny means for each trait and the sire LSY EBV.