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Genetic improvement of Catalan poultry breeds

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Authors: A. Francesch
Issue: 98A-2 (173-184)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Poultry, Catalan breeds, genetic improvement

From 1987 a program of genetic improvement of the Catalan chicken breeds Black Penedesenca, Red Empordanesa and Buff Prat has been followed and focused to obtaining more profitable chickens for traditional meat production. Improvement has been applied to a maternal and another paternal stock in each breed. Maternal stocks have been selected for egg number, egg weight, and eggs hell color, as well as body live weight. Paternals have been improved and selected for body live weight, and breast angle. An actual revision of genetic parameters, and genetic progress estimate in each one of these races and stocks is presented. Heritability appears moderate for egg number, and high for bod y live weight, egg weight, eggshell color, and breast angle. Obtained values are very similar between breeds. Genetic correlation is positive and high between body live weight and egg weight as well as body live weight and breast angle; negative and moderate between body live weight and egg number, as well as egg weight and egg number. Their values are very similar between breeds, except the last, whose value in Prat breed is almost null. The character that does not maintain a constant in their correlation with another between breeds is the eggshell color. Genetic progress is positive in all the characters of interest, being egg number in maternal stocks, and body live weight in paternals the characters with a greater genetic progress.

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