In this study, we examined genetic parameters for feed efficiency, growth, and carcass traits in Japanese Shorthorn cattle, based on 714 performance tests and 15,790 field carcass records. Feed efficiency traits, including residual feed intake (RFI) and residual body weight gain (RG), were calculated. Single-trait and two-trait animal models were used to estimate heritability and genetic correlations. Heritability estimates for feed efficiency traits were found to be low to moderate (ranging from 0.03 to 0.36); notably, heritability was moderate for RG and low for RFI. Estimates for genetic correlations between feed efficiency traits and average daily gain (DG) were favorably moderate to high (absolute values of 0.43-0.85), and those with daily feed intake were low (absolute values of 0.00-0.32). We also estimated a high genetic correlation between RG and DG. The backfat thickness (BF) of bull calves showed favorable or no genetic correlation estimates with feed efficiency and growth traits, whereas RG and BF showed favorable or no genetic correlation estimates with carcass traits. Our findings indicate that genetic improvements in both feed utilization ability and carcass traits could be achieved by utilizing RG and BF in Japanese Shorthorn cattle.
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