Date of this Version
Data on 213 purebred and 524 crossbred gilts produced in a four-breed diallel crossing design involving the Duroc (D), Yorkshire (Y), Landrace (L) and Spotted (S)breeds were analyzed for age and weight at puberty. The breed of sire x breed of dam interaction was significant for both age and weight at puberty. However, differences among reciprocals were not significant, and thus, reciprocal means were combined. Crossbreds were younger (7.9 d) and heavier (1.2 kg) at puberty than purebreds. Significant heterosis for age at puberty was found for D X L (-14.3 d),S x D (-12.8 d) and S x L (-9.0 d) crosses. No significant heterosis was found in L x Y, S x Y and D x L crosses. The only crossbred group that exhibited significant heterosis for weight at puberty was the L x Y (4.5 kg). The oldest breed groups at puberty were the D and Y, while the youngest were all possible two-breed crosses involving D, S and L. Few differences were observed among breed groups in weight at puberty, however, the D x Y was significantly heavier than the L, Y, S x L and D x L.