Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola
Print version ISSN 1516-635X
SCHMIDT, GS; FIGUEIREDO, EAP and LEDUR, MC. Genetic gain for body weight, feed conversion and carcass traits in selected broiler strains. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2006, vol.8, n.1, pp. 29-32. ISSN 1516-635X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-635X2006000100004.
The Brazilian Swine and Poultry Research Center (Embrapa Suínos e Aves) maintains a chicken breeding program for meat production since 1985. Two control lines (LLc and PPc) are maintained, whereas two male lines (TT and ZZ) and three female lines (PP, VV and KK) have been selected. This paper reports the genetic gain after 15 generations of combined selection (mass and independent culling levels) in order to develop the commercial broiler stocks Embrapa 021 and Embrapa 022. Selection pressure has been exerted on weight gain, carcass traits and fertility. In addition, female lines have also been selected for egg production, whereas males have been selected for feed efficiency since 1992. All lines have been selected for breast area instead of carcass traits since 1999. The genetic gain was estimated as the deviation between selected lines and the respective unselected lines at 42 days of age. In female lines, body weight improved 504, 548 and 587 g; average breast area increased 27.60; 16.99 and 26.43 cm2; adjusted feed conversion (42-49 d) improved -1.46; -0.97 and 1.76 units, and egg production varied 6.99; 7.12 and -3.43% units for PP, VV and KK, respectively. In male lines, body weight improved 758 and 408 g; average breast area increased 31.95 and 19.38 cm2, and adjusted feed conversion improved (42-49 d) -0.99 and 1.26 for TT and ZZ, respectively. This breeding program has been effective to generate genetic gain and to develop two commercial products, Embrapa 021 (standard) and Embrapa 022 (high yield). Nevertheless, feed efficiency is still not satisfactory.
Keywords : Control line; crossbreeding; genetic gain; meat production; production; selection.