Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Effect of heat stress during intrauterine development on subsequent litter size in sows
    Sevillano Del Aguila, C.A. ; Bloemhof, S. ; Waaij, E.H. van der; Knol, Egbert F. - \ 2013
    In: Book of Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862283 - p. 288 - 288.
    Effect of daily environmental temperature on farrowing rate and total born in dam line sows
    Bloemhof, S. ; Mathur, P.K. ; Knol, E.F. ; Waaij, E.H. van der - \ 2013
    Journal of Animal Science 91 (2013)6. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 2667 - 2679.
    heat-stress - genetic-parameters - primiparous sows - pigs - reproduction - traits - gilts - progesterone - lactation - tolerance
    Heat stress is known to adversely affect reproductive performance of sows. However, it is important to know on which days or periods during the reproduction cycle heat stress has the greatest effects for designing appropriate genetic or management strategies. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify days and periods that have greatest effects on farrowing rate and total born of sows using 5 different measures of heat stress. The data consisted of 22,750 records on 5024 Dutch Yorkshire dam line sows from 16 farms in Spain and Portugal. Heat stress on a given day was measured in terms of maximum temperature, diurnal temperature range and heat load. The heat load was estimated using 3 definitions considering different upper critical temperatures. Identification of days during the reproduction cycle that had maximum effect was based on the Pearson correlation between the heat stress variable and the reproduction trait, estimated for each day during the reproduction cycle. Polynomial functions were fitted to describe the trends of these correlations and the days with greatest negative correlation were considered as days with maximum effect. Correlations were greatest for maximum temperature, followed by those for heat load and diurnal temperature range. Correlations for both farrowing rate and total born were stronger in gilts than in sows. This implies that heat stress has a stronger effect on reproductive performance of gilts than of sows. Heat stress during the third week (21 to 14 d) before first insemination had largest effect on farrowing rate. Heat stress during the period between 7 d before successful insemination until 12 d after that had largest effect on total born. Correlations between temperatures on consecutive days during these periods were extremely high ( > 0.9). Therefore, for farrowing rate the maximum temperature on 21 d before first insemination and for total born the maximum temperature at day of successful insemination can be used as predictive measures of heat stress in commercial sow farms. Additionally, differences between daughter groups of sires were identified in response to high temperatures. This might indicate possibilities for genetic selection on heat tolerance.
    Snow shoes and sandals? : genetic aspects of heat stress sensitivity and sow reproduction
    Bloemhof, S. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Johan van Arendonk; I. Misztal, co-promotor(en): E.F. Knol; Liesbeth van der Waaij. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735881 - 173
    zeugen - warmtestress - diergenetica - gevoeligheid - geslachtelijke voortplanting - voortplantingsvermogen - kritische temperatuur - hittetolerantie - selectief fokken - genetische correlatie - veredelingsprogramma's - varkensfokkerij - sows - heat stress - animal genetics - sensitivity - sexual reproduction - reproductive performance - critical temperature - heat tolerance - selective breeding - genetic correlation - breeding programmes - pig breeding

    Globally the average size of pig herds are increasing and amount of labour spent per sow / finisher pig is decreasing. These changes require sows which need less management interventions. In addition to easier manageable sows modern genotypes will also need to be more adaptable considering that global temperatures are expected to increase and pork production is partially moving to warmer climates. The end result is that commercial pigs nowadays will potentially face more heat stress challenges during their productive lives.

    In this thesis, a model was developed which was used to estimate upper critical temperatures for sows’ reproductive performance. Additionally the possibility to breed for reduced heat tolerance of sows was investigated. Therefore heritability for the random regression slope of farrowing rate against increasing temperature at day of insemination (= heat tolerance) and the genetic correlation between farrowing rate and heat tolerance was estimated.Commercial production pigs are crossbreds farmed all over the world. In contrast, selection is practiced mainly in temperate climates, in nucleus herds using purebred pigs. The success of genetic selection depends on how much genetic progress is realized in crossbred pigs. Within this thesis these genetic correlations for farrowing rate between purebreds and crossbreds were estimated.

    Sow productivity depends on a number of related traits, such as ovulation rate, the number of litters per sow per year, the number of weaned piglets per sow per year, and the length of productive live. Traditionally pig breeding programs have improved sow productivity by increasing number weaned piglets per sow per year. To improve herd-level litters per sow per year a new trait was proposed called problem free sow production by parity, which incorporates the traits interval weaning first insemination, non-return rate, farrowing rate, and selection for next parity. Heritability of problem free sow production and genetic correlations with other sow production traits were estimated.

    The main conclusion of this thesis was that it is possible to select for improved heat resistance in addition to improved commercial production levels in commercial pigs. However, genetic correlation between production in temperate and hot climates is high. This high correlation implies that, within-line, pigs with the best performance in a hot climate will be the best in temperate climate too. Most important for the success of a pig breeding program is to define appropriate breeding goals which are based on the environment(s) that market pigs are expected to perform in. The overall data collection for the genetic evaluation needs to be done in those specific environments and this will favour pigs which are able to produce over more than one specific environment.

    Heat stress effects on farrowing rate in sows: Genetic parameter estimation using within-line and crossbred models
    Bloemhof, S. ; Kause, A. ; Knol, E.F. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Misztal, I. - \ 2012
    Journal of Animal Science 90 (2012)7. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 2109 - 2119.
    dairy-cattle - traits - reproduction - pigs - performance - components - tolerance - herds - farm
    The pork supply chain values steady and undisturbed piglet production. Fertilization and maintaining gestation in warm and hot climates is a challenge that can be potentially improved by selection. The objective of this study was to estimate 1) genetic variation for farrowing rate of sows in 2 dam lines and their reciprocal cross; 2) genetic variation for farrowing rate heat tolerance, which can be defined as the random regression slope of farrowing rate against increasing temperature at day of insemination, and the genetic correlation between farrowing rate and heat tolerance; 3) genetic correlation between farrowing rate in purebreds and crossbreds; and 4) genetic correlation between heat tolerance in purebreds and crossbreds. The estimates were based on 93,969 first insemination records per cycle from 24,456 sows inseminated between January 2003 and July 2008. These sows originated from a Dutch purebred Yorkshire dam line (D), an International purebred Large White dam line (ILW), and from their reciprocal crosses (RC) raised in Spain and Portugal. Within-line and crossbred models were used for variance component estimation. Heritability estimates for farrowing rate were 0.06, 0.07, and 0.02 using within-line models for D, ILW, and RC, respectively, and 0.07, 0.07, and 0.10 using the crossbred model, respectively. For farrowing rate, purebred-crossbred genetic correlations were 0.57 between D and RC and 0.50 between ILW and RC. When including heat tolerance in the within-line model, heritability estimates for farrowing rate were 0.05, 0.08, and 0.03 for D, ILW, and RC, respectively. Heritability for heat tolerance at 29.3 degrees C was 0.04, 0.02, and 0.05 for D, ILW, and RC, respectively. Genetic correlations between farrowing rate and heat tolerance tended to be negative in crossbreds and ILW-line sows, implying selection for increased levels of production traits, such as growth and reproductive output, is likely to increase environmental sensitivity. This study shows that genetic selection for farrowing rate and heat tolerance is possible. However, when this selection is based solely on purebred information, the expected genetic progress on farrowing rate and heat tolerance in crossbreds ( commercial animals) would be inconsequential.
    A human nose scoring system for boar taint and its relationship with androstenone and skatole
    Mathur, V. ; Napel, J. ten; Bloemhof, S. ; Heres, L. ; Knol, E.F. ; Mulder, H.A. - \ 2012
    Meat Science 91 (2012)4. - ISSN 0309-1740 - p. 414 - 422.
    7 european countries - correlation-coefficient - perceive androstenone - sensory evaluation - sex odor - pork - meat - sensitivity - consumers - acceptability
    A system for sensory evaluation of boar taint was used to evaluate boar taint in fat samples from 6574 entire males. The term “human nose scoring” has been used to describe this system. The samples from each boar were heated with a hot iron and three panelists assigned scores of 0 to 4. The reproducibility of HNS ranged from 0.19 to 0.32 reflecting natural variation in the ability of human beings to detect different odors. The correlations of HNS with androstenone ranged from 0.22 to 0.52, while those with skatole ranged from 0.31 to 0.89, suggesting that skatole is a better predictor of boar taint. Considering (1) the relationship of HNS with the boar taint compounds, (2) the ability of HNS to capture variation not accounted for by the boar taint compounds, (3) low estimation costs and (4) low time requirements, HNS can be used in large scale evaluations of boar taint.
    Application of a crossbred model reveals additional genetic variation in reproduction traits of commercial females
    Bloemhof, S. ; Knol, E.F. ; Kause, A. ; Misztal, I. - \ 2010
    Journal of Dairy Science 93 (2010)S1. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 469 - 469.
    Genetic parameters for clinical mastitis in the first three lactations of Dutch Holstein cattle
    Bloemhof, S. ; Jong, G. de; Haas, Y. de - \ 2009
    Veterinary Microbiology 134 (2009)1-2. - ISSN 0378-1135 - p. 165 - 171.
    somatic-cell counts - norwegian dairy-cattle - milk-production - score - cows - resistance - selection - disease
    The first breeding value for udder health of a bull is based on the performance of his daughters in their first lactation. However, clinical mastitis (CM) is not a problem in first lactation only. Therefore, the objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for CM and somatic cell count (SCC) for the first three lactations of Dutch Holstein cattle. Data from 250 Dutch herds recording CM were used to quantify the genetic variation of CM in parity 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The dataset contained 35,379 lactations from 21,064 animals of different parities. Test-day SCC was available from all lactations. Somatic cell counts were log-transformed to somatic cell scores (SCS) and averaged over test-day records between 5 and 335, 5 and 150, and 151 and 335 days in milk. Variance components for CM and SCS were estimated using a sire-maternal grandsire model. The heritability for CM was approximately 3% in all parities. Genetic correlations between CM in consecutive lactations were high (0.9), but somewhat lower between parity 1 and 3 (0.6). All genetic correlations between CM and SCS were positive, implying that genetic selection on lower SCC will reduce CM-incidence. Estimated genetic correlations were stronger for SCS in the first half of lactation than in the second half of lactation. Selection indices showed that most progress could be achieved when treating CM in parity 1, 2, and 3 as different traits and by including SCS between 5 and 150 days in the udder health index.
    Sow line differences in heat stress tolerance expressed in reproductive performance traits
    Bloemhof, S. ; Waaij, E.H. van der; Merks, J.W.M. ; Knol, E.F. - \ 2008
    Journal of Animal Science 86 (2008)12. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 3330 - 3337.
    ambient-temperature - genetic component - early-pregnancy - dairy-cattle - thailand - landrace - climate - pigs
    The objectives of this study were 1) to investigate if there were differences in the relation between temperature and reproductive performance traits in 2 different sow lines, a Yorkshire line producing mainly in temperate climates and a Large White line producing mainly in warm climates, and 2) to determine the upper critical temperature (UCT) for the reproductive performance of these 2 lines. Sows are exposed to heat stress when temperature exceeds the UCT of the thermo-neutral zone. Data included 32,631 observations on reproductive performance from 11,935 sows on 20 farms in Spain, collected from 2003 to 2005. Sows belonged to 2 different purebred sow lines, named D (Yorkshire sow line, producing mainly in temperate climates) and I (Large White sow line, producing mainly in warm climates). Only first insemination records per parity were used and were combined with the maximum outside temperature at day of insemination. Upper critical temperatures were studied for 3 reproduction traits: farrowing rate (0 or 1), litter size (range from 1 to 25), and total number of piglets born per first insemination (combination of farrowing rate and litter size, range from 0 to 25). Data were corrected for fixed effects, which included parity, service sire, and an interaction between farm and year. Corrected data were used as observations in the models to study the effect of outside temperature on reproductive performance. Two models were compared for goodness of fit: a linear regression model and a plateau-linear model with the plateau representing the thermo-neutral zone and a linear decrease above that zone. Farrowing rate of I-line sows was not affected by temperature. For litter size and total number born per first insemination of I-line sows no UCT could be estimated. These traits were linearly affected by temperature. For all 3 reproduction traits of the D-line the best model was the plateau-linear model; the UCT for the D-line sows was estimated to be 19.2°C for farrowing rate, 21.7°C for litter size, and 19.6°C for total number born per first insemination. The decrease in reproductive performance of I-line sows with increasing outside temperature was less than in D-line sows. From this study it can be concluded that there are differences in heat stress tolerance between sow lines as measured by the differences in reproductive performance. These differences are an indication of genetic differences in heat stress tolerance in sow lines.
    Improving selection on udder health by using different trait definitions of somatic cell count
    Haas, Y. de; Bloemhof, S. ; Ouweltjes, W. ; Napel, J. ten; Jong, G. de - \ 2008
    In: Annual Meeting of Interbull 2007, Dublin, Ireland, 23 - 26 August, 2007. - - p. 185 - 189.
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