BackgroundGenomic evaluation, based on the use of thousands of genetic markers in addition to pedigree and phenotype information, has become the standard evaluation methodology in dairy cattle breeding programmes over the past several years. Despite the many differences between dairy cattle breeding and poultry breeding, genomic selection seems very promising for the avian sector, and studies are currently being conducted to optimize avian selection schemes. In this optimization perspective, one of the key parameters is to properly predict the accuracy of genomic evaluation in pure line layers.ResultsIt was observed that genomic evaluation, whether performed on males or females, always proved more accurate than genetic evaluation. The gain was higher when phenotypic information was narrowed, and an augmentation of the size of the reference population led to an increase in accuracy prediction with regard to genomic evaluation. By taking into account the increase of selection intensity and the decrease of the generation interval induced by genomic selection, the expected annual genetic gain would be higher with ancestry-based genomic evaluation of male candidates than with genetic evaluation based on collaterals. This advantage of genomic selection over genetic selection requires more detailed further study for female candidates.ConclusionsIn conclusion, in the population studied, the genomic evaluation of egg quality traits of breeding birds at birth seems to be a promising strategy, at least for the selection of males.