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Title: Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 5. Cow genotype affects feed efficiency and maternal productivity
Contributor(s): Hebart, M L (author); Accioly, J M (author); Copping, K J (author); Deland, M P B (author); Herd, R M  (author)orcid ; Jones, F M (author); Laurence, M (author); Lee, S J (author); Lines, D S (author); Speijers, E J (author); Walmsley, B J  (author)orcid ; Pitchford, W S (author)
Publication Date: 2018
Early Online Version: 2016-03-02
DOI: 10.1071/AN14034
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Abstract: Cow bodyweight gain, calf weaning weight, feed intake and maternal productivity of 500 Angus cows, in 64 replicate groups, were measured over three parities at two locations (Struan and Vasse) as part of the Beef CRC Maternal Productivity Project. The cows were sourced as heifers from the top and bottom 10% of BREEDPLAN Rib Fat EBV (High-Fat and Low-Fat), and from High and Low residual feed intake (RFI) selection lines (High-RFI and Low-RFI). Each of the four genotypes were run under High- and Low-Nutrition (measured as feed on offer) at both sites. The High-Fat cows were 7% more efficient at producing weaner calves under Low-Nutrition than were the Low-Fat cows. This was driven primarily by the 4% difference between the lines in weaning rate. When weaning rate differences were accounted for (as covariate), there was no difference between the Fat lines in the efficiency of weaner weight production. When the weight gain of the cow was included as an output in addition to calf weaning weight, there was also no difference between the Fat lines in efficiency. Low-RFI cows were always more efficient at producing weaner calves than were the High-RFI cows. This was primarily driven through a 7% reduction in annual feed intake (across both nutrition treatments). However, the Low-RFI cows were leaner, had 6.3% lower weaning rate and calved on average 5.4 days later than did the High-RFI cows. Furthermore, the largest differences in feed intake were in spring when feed availability is greatest. In the context of the results herein, a balanced breeding program should include selection for improved reproduction and low RFI.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 58(1), p. 80-93
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070201 Animal Breeding
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830301 Beef Cattle
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100401 Beef cattle
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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