Growth, feed intake and maternal performance of Angus heifers from high and low feed efficiency selection linesS. T. Morris A B , F. Y. Chan A , N. Lopez-Villalobos A , P. R. Kenyon A , D. J. Garrick A and H. T. Blair A
A Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, College of Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
B Coresponding author. Email: S.T.Morris@massey.ac.nz
Animal Production Science 54(9) 1428-1431 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN14220
Submitted: 12 March 2014 Accepted: 4 June 2014 Published: 17 July 2014
Feed conversion efficiency is an important factor affecting profitability for cow-calf production systems. One method of characterising feed conversion efficiency is by calculating residual feed intake (RFI), the difference between measured and expected feed intakes. A high RFI value indicates low feed efficiency while a low RFI value indicates high feed efficiency. The present experiment used 49 Angus heifers sired by Angus bulls selected for high or low RFI. The progeny were bred on commercial farms and then transferred to Massey University at weaning at ~200 days of age. The heifers were weighed at ~30-day intervals and were mated at 15 months, calved at 2 years old and reared their calf to ~160 days of age. Each heifer had recorded its own liveweight gain (from its weaning to weaning of its first calf), herbage intake at 350 and 450 days of age using the n-alkane technique and maternal performance (calf production). These records were analysed to estimate the RFI of each heifer, and to determine differences in RFI between selection lines. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in liveweight or dry matter requirements between selection lines at Day 350, but differences were significant (P < 0.05) at Day 450 such that the high feed efficiency line were 24.6 kg heavier and required an extra 0.32 kg/head.day of herbage. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between the two lines in herbage intake or RFI measured at either Days 350 or 450. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in pregnancy rates, calf birth dates or birthweights, estimated 24-h milk production or calf weaning weights between the two lines. This experiment shows that beef cattle selected for low RFI have higher growth rates and heavier liveweights than cattle selected for high RFI; both lines had similar calf production at first breeding.
Additional keywords: cow-calf, residual feed intake.
ReferencesArthur PF, Archer JA, Johnston DJ, Herd RM, Richardson EC, Parnell PF (2001) Genetic and phenotypic variance and covariance components for feed intake, feed efficiency and other postweaning traits in Angus cattle. Journal of Animal Science 79, 2805–2811.
Arthur PF, Archer JA, Herd RM (2004) Feed intake and efficiency in beef cattle: overview of recent Australian research and challenges for the future. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44, 361–369.
| Feed intake and efficiency in beef cattle: overview of recent Australian research and challenges for the future.CrossRef |
Arthur PF, Herd RM, Wilkins JF, Archer JA (2005) Maternal productivity of Angus cows divergently selected for post-weaning residual feed intake. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45, 985–993.
| Maternal productivity of Angus cows divergently selected for post-weaning residual feed intake.CrossRef |
Baker SD, Szasz JI, Klein TA, Kuber PS, Hunt CW, Glaze JB, Falk D, Richard R, Miller JC, Battaglia RA, Hill RA (2006) Residual feed intake of purebred Angus steers: effects on meat quality and palatability. Journal of Animal Science 84, 938–945.
Barton RA (1970) The yield and composition of milk of suckled beef cows and their relation to calf liveweight gain gains. In ‘New Zealand beef production, processing and marketing’. (Ed. AG Campbell) pp. 130–140. (New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science: Petone, New Zealand)
Berry DP (2008) Improving feed efficiency in cattle with residual feed intake. In ‘Recent advances in animal nutrition’. (Ed. PLGarnsworthy, J Wiseman) pp. 67–69. (Nottingham Univesity Press: Nottingham,UK)
Berry DP, Crowley JJ (2013) Cell biology symposium: genetics of feed efficiency in dairy and beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 91, 1594–1613.
| Cell biology symposium: genetics of feed efficiency in dairy and beef cattle.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXntFWrtLk%3D&md5=b98c6bac789947b852a8c92883d0eedbCAS | 23345557PubMed |
Darmani Kuhi H, Kebreab E, Lopez S, France J (2003) An evaluation of different growth functions for describing the profile of live weight with time (age) in meat and egg strains of chicken. Poultry Science 82, 1536–1543.
| An evaluation of different growth functions for describing the profile of live weight with time (age) in meat and egg strains of chicken.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD3sritlKnsw%3D%3D&md5=dda931c1e99ee4cb8bde7bcd5022e513CAS | 14601729PubMed |
Lopez S, France J, Dhanoa MS, Mould F, Dijkstra J (2000) A generalized Michaelis-Menten equation for the analysis of growth. Journal of Animal Science 78, 1816–1828.
Morris ST, Garrick DJ, Lopez-Villalobos N, Kenyon PR, Burke JL, Blair HT (2010) Growth, feed intake and maternal performance of Angus heifers sired by proven artificially inseminated bulls selected for high or low growth and milk production. Animal Production Science 50, 349–353.
| Growth, feed intake and maternal performance of Angus heifers sired by proven artificially inseminated bulls selected for high or low growth and milk production.CrossRef |
Nicol AM, Brookes IM (2007) Metabolisable energy requirements of grazing livestock. In ‘Pasture and supplements for grazing animals’. (Eds PV Rattray, IM Brookes, AM Nicol) pp. 151–172. (New Zealand Society of Animal Production: Hamilton, New Zealand)
Pryce JE, Wales WJ, de Haas Y, Veerkamp RF, Hayes BJ (2014) Genomic selection for feed efficiency in dairy cattle. Animal 8, 1–10.
| Genomic selection for feed efficiency in dairy cattle.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC2c%2FltVehsQ%3D%3D&md5=e46b795ac2eda6c350337101d1f43aa2CAS | 24128704PubMed |
Richardson EC, Herd RM (2004) Biological basis for variation in residual feed intake in beef cattle. 2. Synthesis of results following divergent selection. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44, 431–440.
| Biological basis for variation in residual feed intake in beef cattle. 2. Synthesis of results following divergent selection.CrossRef |