This study compared the estimates of variance components using various animal models for Large White pigs. The traits included three production traits, birth weight (BW), age at 100 kg (Age_100), and backfat thickness at 100 kg (BF_100), and two reproduction traits, number of total born (NTB) and the ratio of healthy births (RHB). Five models including or ignoring common litter environmental effects, maternal effects, and the direct-maternal covariance (σam) were used for this study. The results showed that the model including all terms, or including all terms except σam, yielded the best-fitting result. The direct variance and heritability were overestimated when the model ignored all previously listed effects, especially for production traits. When all terms were modeled, the direct heritability estimates ( ± standard error) were 0.038 ± 0.008, 0.216 ± 0.022, 0.416 ± 0.023, 0.066 ± 0.013, and 0.049 ± 0.007 for BW, Age_100, BF_100, NTB, and RHB, respectively. The common litter effects reached statistical significance for all traits, and maternal heritability reached statistical significance for three production traits. The direct-maternal correlations were negative for all traits but only reached statistical significance for BW. These results indicate that using a more complex model may result in more accurate estimation of variance components in Large White pigs.
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