Type

Journal Article

Authors

D P Berry
D H Crews
M McGee
D.A. Kenny
N Mc Hugh
R. D. Evans
J J Crowley

Subjects

Medicine & Nursing

Topics
breeding eating muscle skeletal selection genetic physiology economics body weight retrospective studies female meat cattle genetics animals growth development body composition ultrasonography standards male

Genetic relationships between feed efficiency in growing males and beef cow performance. (2011)

Abstract Most studies on feed efficiency in beef cattle have focused on performance in young animals despite the contribution of the cow herd to overall profitability of beef production systems. The objective of this study was to quantify, using a large data set, the genetic covariances between feed efficiency in growing animals measured in a performance-test station, and beef cow performance including fertility, survival, calving traits, BW, maternal weaning weight, cow price, and cull cow carcass characteristics in commercial herds. Feed efficiency data were available on 2,605 purebred bulls from 1 test station. Records on cow performance were available on up to 94,936 crossbred beef cows. Genetic covariances were estimated using animal and animal-dam linear mixed models. Results showed that selection for feed efficiency, defined as feed conversion ratio (FCR) or residual BW gain (RG), improved maternal weaning weight as evidenced by the respective genetic correlations of -0.61 and 0.57. Despite residual feed intake (RFI) being phenotypically independent of BW, a negative genetic correlation existed between RFI and cow BW (-0.23; although the SE of 0.31 was large). None of the feed efficiency traits were correlated with fertility, calving difficulty, or perinatal mortality. However, genetic correlations estimated between age at first calving and FCR (-0.55 ± 0.14), Kleiber ratio (0.33 ± 0.15), RFI (-0.29 ± 0.14), residual BW gain (0.36 ± 0.15), and relative growth rate (0.37 ± 0.15) all suggest that selection for improved efficiency may delay the age at first calving, and we speculate, using information from other studies, that this may be due to a delay in the onset of puberty. Results from this study, based on the estimated genetic correlations, suggest that selection for improved feed efficiency will have no deleterious effect on cow performance traits with the exception of delaying the age at first calving.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

D P Berry, D H Crews, M McGee, D.A. Kenny, N Mc Hugh, R. D. Evans, J J Crowley

Experts in our system

1
D P Berry
Teagasc
Total Publications: 243
 
2
Mark McGee
Teagasc
Total Publications: 81
 
3
D.A. Kenny
Teagasc
Total Publications: 147
 
4
R. D. Evans
Teagasc
Total Publications: 44
 
5
J J Crowley
Teagasc
Total Publications: 8