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Title: Economic evaluation of beef cattle breeding schemes incorporating performance testing of young bulls for feed intake
Contributor(s): Archer, JA (author); Barwick, Stephen  (author); Graser, Hans-Ulrich  (author)
Publication Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1071/EA02054
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Abstract: A model beef cattle breeding scheme consisting of a breeding unit and a commercial unit was used to evaluate the impact on genetic gain and profitability of incorporating feed intake measurements as an additional selection criterion in breeding programmes. Costs incurred by the breeding unit were compared with returns generated in the commercial unit, with bulls from the breeding unit being used as sires in the commercial unit. Two different market objectives were considered - a grass-fed product for the Australian domestic market, and a grain-fed product for the Japanese market. Breeding units utilising either artificial insemination or natural service were also considered. A base scenario was modelled incorporating a range of criteria available to Australian cattle breeders. A second scenario incorporated selection of sires for the breeding unit using a 2-stage selection process, with a proportion of bulls selected after weaning for measurement of (residual) feed intake. Measurement of feed intake of bulls improved accuracy of breeding unit sire selection by 14–50% over the equivalent base scenario, and genetic gain in the breeding objective was improved for all scenarios, with gains ranging from 8 to 38% over the base scenario. After accounting for the cost of measuring feed intake ($150–450), additional profit was generated from inclusion of feed intake measurement on a proportion of bulls for all breeding schemes considered. Profit was generally maximised where 10–20% of bulls were selected at weaning for measurement of intake, with improvement in profit ranging from 9 to 33% when optimal numbers of bulls were selected for intake measurement.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 44(4/5), p. 393-404
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Victoria, Australia
ISSN: 0816-1089
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830301 Beef Cattle
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
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