Kim Louise Bunter

Kim Louise Bunter
University of New England (Australia) | UNE · Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit - AGBU

PhD

About

107
Publications
14,400
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910
Citations
Citations since 2017
41 Research Items
334 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
Introduction
Kim works at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit - AGBU, University of New England (Australia). Kim has experience in research projects across a wide range of species.

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Full-text available
Electronic sow feeding (ESF) systems are used to control feed delivery to individual sows which are group-housed. Feeding levels for gestating sows are typically restricted to prevent excessive body weight gain. Any alteration of intake from the allocated feeding curve or unusual feeding behavior could indicate potential health issues. The objectiv...
Article
This study hypothesised that feed intake and feeding behaviour traits recorded during gestation are genetically and/or phenotypically associated with poor reproductive performance or undesirable outcomes, including unanticipated removals. Data from 2,847 pedigreed sows recorded for 3,939 gestation events (Farm A; commercial, 90.5% F1 sows) and 540...
Article
Full-text available
SUMMARY Using data from two maternal lines of pigs (N~2200), medication events were used as proxy indicators of sow health, to examine changes in associations between lactation feed intake and other traits that occur with changes to sow health status. Estimates of heritability for total born, average piglet birth weight, litter gain until day 10 (L...
Article
Full-text available
Declining sow performance with increasing parity or an increase in the number of poorquality pigs potentially impacts on farm productivity. This study investigated the phenotypic and genetic background of the sow’s influence on (i) the number of pigs not meeting the industry standards (tail-enders) and (ii) changes in performance with parity. Data...
Article
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Poor outcomes reflect low performance during the farrowing and lactation periods and unanticipated sow removals. Since the period around farrowing has the highest risk for sow health issues, monitoring of sows in that time-period will improve both welfare and productivity. The aim of this study was to identify the most relevant risk factors for pre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The concept presented here evaluated benefits of including ‘innate appetite’ as an additional source of information to enhance response within a maternal breeding objective. The term ‘innate appetite’ refers to (heritable) feed intake (or comparable feeding behaviour) data recorded at any point in a sows’ life-cycle, reflecting an animals desire to...
Article
Genetic evaluations utilising footrot scores from industry flocks in their essence, incorporate data from a wide range of challenge environments, resulting in potentially large differences in means, variances and distribution of scores across challenges. The date that commencement of infection occurs is generally unknown, and progression of the inf...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Urinalysis can be used to detect sows that typically remain unidentified with health conditions such as urinary tract infection, and also provides data on physiological variables reflecting metabolic status (e.g. glucose, ketones). The urine was collected from gilts and sows (N=694) after animals were transferred to the farrowing shed. The traits w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate, using selection index calculations, the economic benefits of improving welfare by expanding recording within traditional pig breeding programs to include welfare-related traits. The genetic parameters were adapted from several Australian studies. A basic breeding objective including average daily gain,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) is a known autosomal gene which regulates ovulation rate in mammals. In sheep, numerous polymorphisms have been reported in coding regions of GDF9 with a significant impact on ovulation rate and hence litter size. To study the effect of GDF9 on litter size in Australian sheep breeds, an association analysis wa...
Article
Context Net reproduction rate defined as number of lambs weaned for joined ewes reflects conception, litter size and the ability of ewes to rear lambs to weaning age. These three attributes can be treated as separate traits for genetic evaluation, allowing breeders to focus selection for each appropriately. Aims The aim of the present paper was to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Industry data for traits included in the new multi-trait genetic evaluation for reproductive traits provided by Sheep Genetics were used to investigate variation due to sub-populations (genetic groups) and due to outcross ewe genotypes in maternal sheep breeds. Substantial variation due to genetic groups (gg 2 : typically 11-30% of the phenotypic v...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Gilts and sows from two nucleus farms (N=1103) were recorded after transfer to the farrowing shed for a range of health-related traits and subsequent lactation outcomes. Traits recorded pre-farrowing included fight lesions (FIGHT), caliper score (CAL), udder condition (MAST), haemoglobin level (HB), respiration rate (RESP), rectal temperature (RECT...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes characteristics of the new analysis for reproductive traits of ewes, as applied to data from maternal breeds. Components of reproduction are treated as different traits for yearling and adult ewes. The new procedures produce breeding values for conception, litter size, rearing ability of ewes, maternal behaviour and condition s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The underlying causal relationship between traits associated with energy reserves and yearling reproduction is often a cause of conjecture within the sheep industry in part due to anecdotal evidence often mistaking phenotypic associations with genetic. The use of graphical models to disentangle the underlying causal relationships between traits ass...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Alternative models for genetic evaluation of pre-and post-weaning mortality traits were investigated. For pre-weaning mortality, the best model accounted for direct piglet effects, common litter effects of both the nurse sow and biological dam, repeated records of the nurse sow and the maternal nurse sow genetic effects. For post-weaning mortality,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Footrot affects all aspects of sheep production and has substantial welfare and economic impacts in the New Zealand (NZ) and Australian sheep industries. Merino sheep managed in high rainfall environments are particularly susceptible. Funding and support from the NZ fine wool industry has enabled development of a breeding value for footrot suscepti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined the effect of temperature grouping (T-group) on genetic parameters for farrowing rate from first insemination (FR). Further, this study investigated if genotype by T-group interaction for FR exists. The lowest FR was observed in T-group 1 and 3, which were both characterised by high mean maximum temperature (>29⁰C) prior to mati...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper describes the impact of heat and seasonal stressors on the reproductive performance of pigs, management strategies to alleviate this impact and the opportunity to breed for pigs with increased ability to cope with seasonal stressors. The climate in Australia has become hotter. Currently, in Corowa NSW, there are about 40 days with a maxi...
Chapter
Heat stress has numerous detrimental consequences for reproduction, health, production performance and welfare of pigs and other livestock species. To select for improved tolerance to heat stress, it is necessary to obtain phenotypes for individuals which identify genetic variation in tolerance specifi cally to heat stress. Performance trait phenot...
Book
Full-text available
Litter size (LS) in sheep (total lambs born including still born) is a categorical trait which ranges from 1 to 3 and exceptionally up to 7. A survey has been conducted on a large number of breeds from all over the world to gather the LS distribution of adult ewes per breed from 1995 to 2017 removing years with too few data. A simple analysis showe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Footrot affects all aspects of sheep production and has substantial welfare and economic impacts, particularly for the fine-wool industry in New Zealand (NZ), which is largely dominated by Merino sheep and high rainfall environments. Genetic selection provides an opportunity to improve resistance to footrot and in turn reduce the production loss an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Data obtained from electronic sow feeders during the gestation period were used to investigate feed intake and feeding behaviour traits from 3785 predominantly (89.9%) F1 sows. Estimates of heritability, permanent environmental effect of the sow and phenotypic variance were obtained for seven distinct time periods during gestation for average feed...
Article
Full-text available
Gilt progeny (GP) are born and weaned lighter than sow progeny (SP) and have higher rates of mortality. This study aimed to quantify the performance and survival differences between GP and SP throughout the entire production cycle from birth to sale. Furthermore, the study looked at the effects of segregating GP and SP compared with commingling dur...
Chapter
Genetic solutions are essential components of an integrated approach to improve welfare in the sheep industry. Examples of breeding strategies applied to the welfare issues are given and discussed in the context of the challenges of establishing welfare-related traits, as novel and difficult to measure traits, in a breeding programme. This includes...
Article
The genetic parameters for maternal rearing-ability of ewes were investigated by ignoring or defining the rearing ability trait separately by litter-size class (singles versus multiples) using multi-generational data from three, fully pedigreed Merino flocks differing in prolificacy, production level and environment. Genetic correlations (ra) betwe...
Article
The perception that the genetic background of the Australian pig population is limiting for genetic improvement of commercial pigs in Australia is considered in the context of well established theory combined with practical evidence. The diversity of pig breeds used in modern commercial pig-breeding programs is diminished worldwide relative to all...
Chapter
Full-text available
The re-introduction of group housing for gestating sows in Australia, and elsewhere, has implications for both sow welfare and performance through enabling interactions (both positive and negative) between sows. Several strategies were investigated to identify selection criteria which might facilitate selection of sows better suited to group housin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Footrot is a highly contagious hoof disease of sheep and other ungulates that has substantial welfare and economic impacts. The extent to which animals are affected by footrot is heritable. However, there are some significant operational limitations to applying traditional pedigreebased selection methods for increasing resistance to footrot. The Ne...
Research
Full-text available
Newborn piglets are more susceptible to cold than to heat stress, and cold stress is one of the most significant stressors encountered early in life (Herpin et al., 2002). Piglets usually experience a sudden drop in ambient temperature at birth (range: 15-20 °C), which normally results in a 2 to 4 °C drop in core body temperature (Lossec et al., 19...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Data from a single prolific Merino flock (N=10705 joining records) recorded over 10 years were used to estimate genetic parameters for annual total weight weaned (TWW) of ewes which weaned lambs (N=8615), treated as a ewe trait, and the accompanying reproductive traits. TWW was the sum of individual weights of weaned lambs to birth ewe. An alternat...
Article
Full-text available
Group housing of gestating sows has implications for reproductive performance due to detrimental interactions between sows within groups. Reproductive records (n = 10,748) were obtained for 8,444 pedigreed nucleus sows housed in a single facility, formed into 1,827 static groups during gestation. Only data from complete groups were used to estimate...
Article
Full-text available
Group housing of gestating sows has implications for reproductive performance due to detrimental interactions between sows within groups. Reproductive records (n = 10,748) were obtained for 8,444 pedigreed nucleus sows housed in a single facility, formed into 1,827 static groups during gestation. Only data from complete groups were used to estimate...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive traits generated from mothering up lambs to ewes (n = 59 603 records) were compared with data resulting from pregnancy scanning (n = 46 663 records), to examine the consistency between the two data sources for deriving specific reproductive traits and to estimate genetic parameters. The reproductive traits considered were fertility (FE...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract Text: Litter size data (N=7152 sows with 8787 records) were used to estimate breeding values under a model fitting both additive and social genetic effects. Sows were penned into 1504 groups (2 to 10 sows/group) during gestation. Seven subsets of data containing a single record per sow were created for re-estimating breeding values. Varian...
Article
Full-text available
Data from 9296 calves born to 2078 dams over 9 years across five sites were used to investigate factors associated with calf mortality for tropically adapted breeds (Brahman and Tropical Composite) recorded in extensive production systems, using multivariate logistic regression. The average calf mortality pre-weaning was 9.5% of calves born, varyin...
Article
Full-text available
The genetic associations between cow teat and udder traits with maternal contributions to calf mortality were studied in Brahman (BRAH) and Tropical Composite (TCOMP) cattle managed in extensive production systems of northern Australia. Data from 9286 purebred and crossbred calves, progeny of 2076 cows and 149 sires, were recorded from 2003 to 2011...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the changes in weight, fatness and genetic parameters for these traits over a sow's productive life using random regression. Data for body weight (kg) and fat depth at the P2 site (mm) were recorded repeatedly on 3,324 sows from selection to culling. There were up to 19 recording events, defined as: 20, 21, 26 and 29 weeks of ag...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the genetic and phenotypic associations between finisher performance, pre-breeding body condition of the gilt, subsequent lactation feed intake and survival of the primiparous sow to farrow in the second parity. Complete data were available on ~2200 sows, along with additional cohort and historical performance data. Genetic vari...
Article
Full-text available
Data on sow body weight (BW) and fatness (n = ~2250 pregnant sows) and reproductive data (including historical: n = ~18 000) were used to examine the genetic and phenotypic associations between body condition before and after farrowing, gestational outcomes, lactation feed intake and the gilts' ability to survive unculled to farrow in the second pa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Identifying factors which affect piglet survival can help producers develop interventions and management strategies to reduce pre-weaning mortality. While puerperal disease affects subsequent fertility and litter size of sows (Hoy, 2006), Gerjets and Kempter (2009) suggested that the primary economic impact of post-parturient problems is via increa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A stratified survival analysis was compared with a non-stratified model to identify significant factors affecting the productive life of commercial sows and to estimate the heritability for sow productive life. Data for 3,074 sows were used for the survival analysis under a Cox model. The stratified model identified factors associated with sow surv...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of season on genetic parameters for production and reproductive traits and quantified within contemporary group effects of temperature on these traits using linear and plateau-linear regression models. From 2003 onwards, data were available on similar to 60 000 gilts for the routinely recorded production traits (BF:...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction Historically, pig breeding programs have focused on a limited number of traits. Often growth rate, back fat and a measure of litter size at birth were the only traits considered. Genetic relationships with other unrecorded traits were ignored in this simple approach, although selection for these traits leads to correlated responses in...
Article
Full-text available
Data from a selection experiment for residual feed intake (RFI) were used to estimate genetic correlations between measures of efficiency and performance traits with juvenile IGF-I, and to demonstrate direct and correlated responses to selection. The heritability of IGF-I was 0.28 +/- 0.06 and genetic correlations of IGF-I with feed intake (0.26 +/...
Conference Paper
A genetic linkage map of 23 markers on porcine chromosome 10 was constructed with a resource pedigree based on an Australian commercial pig population. Six new markers (UMNP885, UMNP1049, UMNP875, UMNP925, UMNP876 and UMNP519) were linkage mapped to porcine chromosome 10 for the first time . Phenotypes were available for juvenile IGF-I along with f...
Article
Selection for increased leanness and improved food efficiency in pigs has resulted in a decreased voluntary food intake. It has been argued that voluntary food intake during lactation should be considered in sow breeding programmes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the phenotypic correlation of food intake during growth and food inta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The genetic and phenotypic associations between sow body composition, early piglet growth and lactation feed intake (LFI) recorded during the first lactation were estimated using data collected from two maternal lines (N-2500). Heritability estimates for lactation feed intake, average piglet birth weight (ABW) and total born (TB) were 0.160.04, 0.2...
Article
Full-text available
Sire breed comparisons for carcase (n = 1169), meat and eating quality (n = 686) traits were obtained using data recorded on progeny of known pedigree sired by Duroc (DU), Large White (LW), Landrace (LR) and Duroc Synthetic (DS) boars from crossbred (LW/LR) sows. Animals were reared in eco-shelters in large single-sex contemporary groups and slaugh...
Article
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Ostrich farmers rely on skins and meat as their most important sources of revenue, with feathers being of secondary importance. This paper provides a summary of parameter estimates (heritabilities and genetic correlations) estimated from the resource flock held at the Oudtshoorn Research Farm. Traits considered were egg production, chick production...
Article
Full-text available
Estimates of genetic parameters and genetic trends for reproductive traits and for liveweight at the commencement of breeding were obtained using data from a pair-mated ostrich flock located at Oudtshoorn in South Africa. Heritability estimates were 0.17-0.18 for egg production, 0.15-0.17 for chick production and 0.35-0.37 for liveweight. Female pe...
Article
Full-text available
Higher nutrient requirements of modern sows Pig breeders have successfully selected for higher litter size, reduced backfat and improved growth rate (Hermesch, 2006). These outcomes imply that modern sows have higher nutrient demands in comparison to sows of 20 years ago. For example, genetic improvement of litter size has been 0.10 to 0.20 piglets...
Presentation
Full-text available
An overview of our studies on lactation feed intake of sows