Agea, I.; García, M.-L.; Blasco, A.; Argente, M.-J. Litter Survival Differences between Divergently Selected Lines for Environmental Sensitivity in Rabbits. Animals2019, 9, 603.
Agea, I.; García, M.-L.; Blasco, A.; Argente, M.-J. Litter Survival Differences between Divergently Selected Lines for Environmental Sensitivity in Rabbits. Animals 2019, 9, 603.
A divergent selection experiment on environmental sensitivity was performed in rabbits. The aim of this study was to estimate the correlated response in kits’ weight and its survival, and weight distance from birth to weaning. Weight distance was calculated as the absolute values of the differences between the individual value and the mean value of its litter. Also, relationship between probability of survival at 4 d of age and weight at birth was studied. Environmental sensitivity was measured as litter size variability. A total of 2484 kits from 127 does of the low line (selected for reducing litter size variability) and 1916 kits of 114 does of the high line (selected for increasing litter size variability) of the 12th generation were weighed. Bayesian methodology was used to estimate the correlated response to selection, and LOGISTIC procedure of SAS was used to estimate the relationship between weight and probability of survival. Both lines showed similar individual weight at birth and at weaning, and similar survival at birth and at 4 d of age. Survival at weaning was higher in the low line than in the high line (0.67 and 0.62; P= 0.93). Weight distance was higher at birth but lower at weaning in the low line (47.8 g and 54.1 g; P=0.98). Kit’s weight at birth affected its survival. In conclusion, selection for environmental sensitivity showed correlated response in kits survival and in homogeneity of litter weight at weaning.
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