PHENOTYPIC AND GENETIC-VARIATION IN BODY-WEIGHT, FOOD-INTAKE AND ENERGY-UTILIZATION IN HEREFORD CATTLE .1. PERFORMANCE-TEST RESULTS

SC BISHOP*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

From body weight, food intake and carcass composition data on 542 Hereford bull calves, measured from 200 to 400 days, several traits relating to the efficiency of beef cattle production were derived and analysed. Traits included body weight at various ages, weight gain, predicted carcass lean content, lean growth rate, food intake, food conversion ratio, lean food conversion ratio, food intake in relation to metabolic body weight, energy required for protein and fat deposition, and predicted maintenance expenditure.

Maintenance expenditure and the costs of fat and protein deposition were calculated by two means, firstly from allometric equations describing fat and protein accretion, and secondly from a multiple regression of food intake on weight gain and predicted carcass lean content. The two methods gave different mean values, but the correlations between traits calculated by the two methods were almost all 1.00. Exponents for metabolic body weight derived from the two methods were 0.738 and 0.758, respectively.

Genetic parameters were calculated using multivariate Restricted Maximum Likelihood techniques. Body weight, carcass composition and traits combining these measurements were moderately to strongly inherited whereas traits related to food intake and efficiency were weakly to moderately inherited. Energy used to deposit fat and lean was more strongly inherited than predicted maintenance expenditure, and these traits were genetically almost uncorrelated. Maintenance energy expenditure showed no genetic relationship with predicted carcass lean content. Efficiency and predicted maintenance expenditure were favourably correlated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalLivestock Production Science
Volume30
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1992

Keywords

  • BEEF CATTLE
  • GROWTH
  • CARCASS LEAN
  • FOOD UTILIZATION
  • FEED CONVERSION
  • ANIMAL SIZE
  • GROWTH-RATE
  • CORRELATED RESPONSES
  • BIOLOGICAL TYPES
  • CARCASS TRAITS
  • BEEF-CATTLE
  • VEAL CALVES
  • LEAN GAIN
  • EFFICIENCY

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