Variance components for survival of piglets at farrowing using a reduced animal model
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Farrowing survival is usually analysed as a trait of the sow, but this precludes estimation of any direct genetic effects associated with individual piglets. In order to estimate these effects, which are particularly important for sire lines, it is necessary to fit an animal model. However this can be computationally very demanding. We show how direct and maternal genetic effects can be estimated with a simpler analysis based on the reduced animal model and we illustrate the method using farrowing survival information on 118 193 piglets in 10 314 litters. We achieve a 30% reduction in computing time and a 70% reduction in memory use, with no important loss of accuracy. This use of the reduced animal model is not only of interest for pig breeding but also for poultry and fish breeding where large full-sib families are performance tested.
Keywordsreduced animal model piglet survival
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