Animal Science, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version

October 1988


Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1988. 66:1371-1377. Copyright American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Mass selection for an index of increased post-weaning average daily gain and decreased backfat thickness was practiced for five generations. Litter size and weight for 221 gilt litters, birth weight and nipple number for 2,242 piglets and weaning weight at 42 d of age for 2,111 pigs were recorded. Carcass measurements were taken on 331 pigs. Differences between means of the lines (select control) were regressed on cumulative selection differential of the index. These regression coefficients were negative (P > .10) for total number born, number born alive, number weaned per litter, nipple number and carcass backfat thickness. Coefficients were positive (P > .10) for individual pig and litter weights at birth and weaning and for the carcass traits of length, longissimus muscle area and percentage of ham and loin. Absolute values of realized genetic correlations of index with traits evaluated were all .35 or less except the correlation with carcass backfat, which was -.84. None of these was significant; therefore, index selection for lean growth should have little effect on litter size and weight but may have a beneficial effect on carcass backfat.