Inferences on the effects of selection for feed conversion over meat quality traits in broiler

<div><p>ABSTRACT: The intense selection process for economic traits conducted by the poultry breeding programs has been caused several changes in broiler meat quality. A database belonging to a selection program of a broiler male line was used to estimate heritability and genetic correlations for feed conversion ratio and meat quality traits, which were: initial and final pH, lightness, drip loss, thawing loss and shear force. Two-trait analyses were performed and the components of co(variance) and genetic parameters were determined using the Bayesian approach and the GIBBS3F90 software. The heritability estimate found for feed conversion ratio (0.52) showed high influence of direct additive genetic effects on the expression of this trait; therefore, this trait is able to respond to selection. The genetic correlation estimates obtained (-0.50 to 0.33) were indicative of important associations between feed conversion ratio and meat quality traits. The selection to improve feed conversion ratio may cause injury in greater or lesser degree for L*, drip loss (DL), thawing loss (TL) and shear force (SF) in broilers. It is recommended the monitoring of consequences of feed conversion ratio used as selection criteria or meat quality traits in broilers, due to its unfavorable indirect selection for these variables in this population. Breeding methods for efficiency improvements in broilers feed are suggested, which also benefit sensorial and functional properties of the meat.</p></div>