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Estimation of genetic parameters for growth, carcass and overfeeding traits in a white geese strain

  • Catherine Larzul1Email author,
  • Roger Rouvier1,
  • Daniel Rousselot-Pailley2 and
  • Gérard Guy2
Genetics Selection Evolution200032:415

Received: 25 November 1999

Accepted: 2 March 2000

Published: 15 July 2000


In an experimental strain of white plumage geese created in 1989, two experiments were carried out from 1993 to 1995 in order to estimate genetic parameters for growth, and carcass composition traits in non-overfed animals, and genetic parameters for growth and fatty liver formation in overfed animals. Four hundred and thirty-one non-overfed animals were bred and slaughtered at 11 weeks of age; they were measured for forearm length, keel bone length, chest circumference and breast depth before and after slaughtering. The carcasses were partly dissected in order weigh breast, breast muscle and skin + fat, and abdominal fat. Four hundred and seventy-seven overfed animals were slaughtered at 20 weeks of age; they were measured for "paletot" (breast meat, bone and meat from wings, bone and meat from thigh and legs) weight and liver weight. In these two experiments, the weights had moderate to high heritability values. Breast depth measured on live animals showed a low heritability value. In overfed animals, liver weight showed a high heritability value. Liver weight could be increased by selection without a great effect on "paletot" weight. Thus, obtaining a white plumage geese strain for fatty liver production by selection would be difficult because only 20% of overfed animals had fatty liver. The results did not allow to conclude on the influence of selection on liver weight on carcass traits such as muscle or fatty tissue weight.


geesegrowthcarcass compositionhepatic steatosisgenetic parameters

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Authors’ Affiliations

Station d'amélioration génétique des animaux, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, France
Station expérimentale sur les palmipèdes à foie gras, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Benquet, France


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2000