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Application of genomic selection in turkeys for health, welfare, efficiency and production traits

2021 CPRF
Genetic selection has allowed unprecedented advances in poultry production through breeding for faster growth rate, improvement of production and reproductive traits, improved biosecurity and improvement of nutritional management. The identification and selection of animals with higher genetic potential for observable phenotypes has been crucial for this improvement, but this hinges on recording high quality phenotypes and developing statistical methodology and indexes for balanced genetic gain. For example, the implementation of single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) selection programs can increase the accuracy of breeding values, therefore improving the ability to estimate the genetic merit of birds. In this presentation, we describe statistical methodology and novel traits applied to a commercial turkey population. Our presentation includes a description of different methods applied to conventional and novel traits in commercial turkey lines (15,000 turkeys genotyped at 65K). A further goal of the study was to monitor inbreeding within the different lines. A large number of high-quality phenotypes related to fertility, growth, production, carcass composition, meat quality, health, behaviour and stress were also developed and collected. With improved methodology, more detailed phenotypic information, and comprehensive data collection and integration, we present more accurate selection of parent stock for application in applied poultry breeding programs.
Tags :
genetic selection,turkey
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University of Guelph

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