Direct and maternal genetic parameters for measures of feed consumption and feed efficiency in young male Japanese Black cattle

M. A. Hoque, M. Hosono, K. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Direct and maternal genetic parameters for measures of feed consumption and feed efficiency were estimated using data recorded on 514 performance tested young male Japanese Black cattle during the period from 1978-2004. Measures of feed consumption were daily feed intake, concentrate intake, ratio of roughage intake to feed intake, total digestible nutrient intake, digestible crude protein intake (DCPI) and metabolizable energy intake. Feed efficiency traits included feed conversion ratio (FCR), total digestible nutrient conversion ratio (TCR), digestible crude protein conversion ratio (DCR) and residual feed intake. Data were analyzed using three alternative animal models (including direct and direct plus maternal genetic effects (including or excluding covariance between direct and maternal genetic effects)). The direct heritability estimates for all the measures of feed consumption and feed efficiency were moderate to high, suggesting that sufficient genetic variation exists in these traits which should respond to selection. All the measures of feed consumption were genetically more strongly correlated with residual feed intake than with other measures of feed efficiency. Maternal heritability estimates for DCPI, FCR and TCR were not significantly different from zero, while the corresponding estimates for all the studied traits were low (ranged from 0.07 to 0.24). The estimates of direct heritability for measures of feed consumption were reduced up to 34% when maternal genetic effect was considered in the model. An antagonistic relationship existed between direct and maternal genetic effect (ram) for FCR and DCR, which biased the estimates of direct heritability downwards. The results indicate that maternal effects play an important role in measures of feed consumption and most of the feed efficiency traits, which should be accounted for these traits in genetic evaluation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalLivestock Science
Volume122
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 1

Keywords

  • Feed efficiency
  • Maternal effect
  • Performance test
  • Variance components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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