Fur-chewing is a common behavioral disorder developed by chinchillas kept in confinement that can indicate a past or present welfare problem. It also has a negative productive impact associated. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic component of fur-chewing, and the effect of this undesired behavior on fur price in a commercial fur-farming system of chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera
). The data for the analysis was derived from a commercial population of 10,196 chinchillas, recorded between the years 1990 and 2011. For determining differences in fur price according to presence of fur-chewing behavior, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used, considering 3007 animals. For estimation of variance components of fur-chewing a sire-dam threshold (probit) mixed model was used, using data of 9, 033 individuals, and then heritability on the underlying liability scale was calculated. The analysis revealed a significant negative impact on fur price from fur-chewing chinchillas (p
-value < 0.05). In addition, the study showed that fur-chewing presents significant genetic variation, with an estimated heritability of 0.16. The presentation of fur-chewing should be taken into account when selecting broodstock in these systems, in order to reduce the number of affected individuals.
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