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Genetic parameters for the oviposition time using high-throughput phenotyping from individual electronic nests in laying hens

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Abstract

Oviposition time is a predictor of the laying rhythm. Drift in oviposition time (i.e. more than 24h between 2 oviposition times) can lead the hen to make a pause day. The recent availability of an individual electronic nest enables high-throughput phenotyping of laying behavior like the record of Daily Oviposition Time (DOT). In this study, the genetic background of DOT along the production time was investigated through the estimation of heritability coefficients for 10 successive periods. For the genetic evaluation purpose, the use of the mean or the variance of DOT per hen, instead of the repeated data, to estimate the breeding values of hens was then considered. Data were continuously recorded on laying hens raised in a barn thanks to individual electronic nests, which use radio-frequency identification of hens. The oviposition time was recorded on 1,180 Rhode Island Red hens (RIR) and 932 White Leghorn hens (WL) between 24 and 64 weeks of age. Heritability coefficients of DOT were estimated for 10 periods of 28-days between 24 and 64 weeks of age, using REML methodology applied to an animal model. Heritability coefficients of DOT, of the mean of DOT per hen (MOT) and the Logarithm of the DOT Variance per hen (LVOT) were estimated for the whole period (24 to 64 weeks of age) and the Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) of hens for DOT, MOT and LVOT were compared. Earliest recorded DOT was 2h05 and 3h07 after turning on the light for RIR and WL respectively. According to the period of 28-days, low to moderate heritability was estimated for DOT with values ranging from 0.28 ± 0.06 and 0.42 ± 0.07 for RIR, and 0.13 ± 0.03 and 0.24 ± 0.05 for WL. For the whole period, moderate to high heritability was estimated for MOT (0.73 ± 0.08 for RIR and 0.56 ± 0.08 for WL), and LVOT (0.42 ± 0.07 for RIR and 0.45 ± 0.08 for WL). The Spearman correlations between the EBVs of hens for DOT and MOT were 0.99 in both lines. The Spearman correlations between the EBVs of hens for DOT and LVOT were 0.87 and 0.65 for RIR and WL respectively. These results indicate that DOT captures genetic information closer to MOT than LVOT. The rankings of candidates are the same for MOT and DOT. However, the calculation time of EBVs is faster for MOT than for DOT, suggesting that MOT is more interesting for the genetic evaluations. The existence of genetic background for the oviposition time is promising to identify candidate genes implicated in the expression of the laying rhythm.
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Dates and versions

hal-03789018 , version 1 (27-09-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03789018 , version 1

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Lorry Bécot, Nicolas Bédère, Jenna Coton, Thierry Burlot, Pascale Le Roy. Genetic parameters for the oviposition time using high-throughput phenotyping from individual electronic nests in laying hens. World's Poultry Congress, Aug 2022, Paris, France. ⟨hal-03789018⟩

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