Heritability and genetic correlation of measurements derived from acoustic resonance frequency analysis; a novel method of determining eggshell quality in domestic hens

I. C. Dunn*, M. Bain, A. Edmond, P. W. Wilson, N. Joseph, S. Solomon, B. De Ketelaere, J. De Baerdemaeker, M. Schmutz, R. Preisinger, D. Waddington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

1. Cracked eggshells result in economic loss and provide a route for pathogenic organisms to enter the egg. Genetic factors that contribute to shell strength are likely to decrease the risk that an egg will crack when subject to insult. 2. A novel measurement, the dynamic stiffness of the eggshell (K dyn) was examined to determine if it might be used in the genetic selection of hens with improved eggshell characteristics. The measurement is determined from acoustic resonance frequency analysis. 3. The estimates of heritability for the novel measurement of Kdyn were moderately high and ranged from 0.33 to 0.53 depending on the model used for the estimation. 4. The estimates of genetic correlation of Kdyn with eggshell breaking strength (0.49) and static stiffness (0.57) were positive and relatively large as expected. There was a small negative genetic correlation between K dyn and egg production from 26 to 50 weeks of age (-0.19) and a moderate one from 58 to 74 weeks of age (-0.36). 5. The moderate heritability and relative independence of Kdyn indicates that this measurement could be used successfully in a breeding programme to improve shell quality and to reduce the incidence of cracks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-286
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005

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