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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 23 - 28

Estimates of Genetic Parameters for Body Weight and Carcass Composition in Pekin Ducks

T.S. Xu, X.L. Liu, W. Huang and S.S. Hou    

Abstract: Traditional force feed technology produced excessive fat ducks and could not meet the wide range needs. This study studied the possibility of breeding muscular Pekin duck. Data collection was performed in an experimental Pekin duck line. At 7 weeks of age, 1,985 ducks were selected according to their pedigree to measure the traits studied in this study. Single and multiple trait analyses were used to estimated heritability and variance components by restricted maximum likelihood. Heritability estimation of Body Weight (BW), Keel Length (KL), Breast Breadth (BB) and Breast Meat Thickness (BMT) were moderate to high (0.20-0.53). The heritability for Breast Muscle Weight (BMW) and Breast Meat Percentage (BMP) were 0.50 and 0.47, respectively suggesting an increase of breast meat development could be achieved by selection. The heritability of Abdominal Fat Weight (AFW), Abdominal Fat Percentage (AFP), Leg Muscle Weight (LMW) and Leg Muscle Percentage (LMP) were 0.23, 0.32, 0.38 and 0.16, respectively. The genetic correlation between BW and those of BMW and BMP were 0.74 and 0.25. Which suggest that BMP, not BMW may be a selection criterion for muscular Pekin duck. The genetic correlation between BMP and those of KL, BB and BMT were 0.69, 0.69 and 0.71, respectively. The genetic correlation between BMP and AFP was -0.03, therefore body size traits could be used as the selection index for improving the BMP and selecting for higher BMP should not decrease the leanness. In conclusion, higher BMP and lower AFP Pekin duck could be achieved.

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