Evaluating Residual Feed Intake in Replacement Heifer Calves for Correlation with Breed and Sire
AuthorWright, Ashley Diane
AdvisorFaulkner, Dan B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWith feed costs representing on average 65% of the total cost of production improvements in feed efficiency could have a major impact on the beef industry. Postweaning performance and feed efficiency data were collected on 114 heifers born on the University of Arizona's V bar V Ranch. Residual feed intake (RFI) was significantly correlated with dry matter intake (DMI) (r = 0.46) and G:F (r = -0.43), while G:F was moderately correlated with initial age (r = -0.54), initial body weight (r = -0.40), and average daily gain (ADG) (r = 0.68). Residual gain (RG) was moderately correlated with RFI (r = -0.41) and highly correlated with ADG (0.62) and G:F (0.73). In addition, RG was significantly correlated (r = -0.21) with initial weight suggesting that selection for RG could lead to increased cow mature size. Heifers were sorted into three breed categories: Hereford, Hereford cross, and Wagyu cross and breed effect on performance and feed efficiency traits were analyzed. Significant differences in DMI, FCR, and RG were noted, but likely due to significant differences in age at the time of testing. RFI was not significantly different between breed groups, suggesting that RFI is less influenced by animal age than other measures of feed efficiency. In addition, sires of study heifers with 5 or more progeny were selected and progeny performance and feed efficiency traits were compared between sires. No significant differences in ADG, RFI, FCR, or RG were noted between sire progeny. This was likely due to an insufficient number of progeny used in the trial. Further research and an increased number of animals used may uncover significant impacts of sire on RFI.
Degree ProgramGraduate College