A seven-generation selection experiment comprising a selected (S) and a control (C) line was conducted with the objective of increasing the number of fertile eggs (F) of the Brown Tsaiya duck after a single artificial insemination (AI) with pooled Muscovy semen. Both lines consisted of about 20 males and 60 females since parents in each generation and each female duck was tested 3 times, at 26, 29 and 32 weeks of age. The fertile eggs were measured by candling at day 7 of incubation. The selection criterion in the S line was the BLUP animal model value for F. On average, 24.7% of the females and 15% of the males were selected. The direct responses to the selection for F, and correlated responses for the number of eggs set (Ie), the number of total dead embryos (M), the maximum duration of fertility (Dm) and the number of hatched mule ducklings (H) were measured by studying the differences across the generations of selection between the phenotypic value averages in the S and C lines. The predicted genetic responses were calculated by studying the differences between the S and C lines in averaged values of five traits of the BLUP animal model. The selection responses and the predicted responses showed similar trends. There was no genetic change for Ie. After seven generations of selection, the average selection responses per generation were 0.40, 0.33, 0.42, 0.41 genetic standard deviation units for F, M, Dm, and H respectively. Embryo viability was not impaired by this selection. For days 2–8 after AI, the fertility rates (F/Ie) were 89.2% and 63.8%, the hatchability rates (H/F) were 72.5% and 70.6%, and (H/Ie) were 64.7% and 45.1% in the S and C lines respectively. It was concluded that upward selection on the number of fertile eggs after a single AI with pooled Muscovy semen may be effective in ducks to increase the duration of the fertile period and the fertility and hatchability rates with AI once a week instead of twice a week.
Genetics Selection Evolution. 01/2002;