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The phenotypic relationship between residual intake and gain and other feed efficiency traits in Nellore cattle

de Figueiredo, Darcilene Maria, Mercadante, Maria Eugênia Zerlotti, Pires, Aldrin Vieira, Branco, Renata Helena, Ribeiro, Enilson Geraldo, Dallago, Gabriel Machado, Schorer, Marianne, Rocha, Pedro Ribeiro
Tropical animal health and production 2019 v.51 no.2 pp. 449-456
Nellore, average daily gain, beef cattle, dry matter intake, feed conversion, phenotype, phenotypic correlation, probability, standard deviation
This study aimed to compare feed efficiency measures of Nellore beef cattle on different residual intake and gain (RIG) classes. We used data from 610 animals weighing on average 236.33 kg and average of 283 days of age from feedlot performance tests carried out between 2005 and 2012. Animals were grouped based on RIG into three different classes: high RIG (> mean + 0.5 standard deviation (SD), most efficient; n = 193), medium RIG (mean ± 0.5 SD; n = 235), and low RIG (< mean – 0.5 SD, least efficient; n = 182). Residual feed intake (RFI), residual gain (RG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), feed efficiency (FE), relative growth rate (RGR), and Kleiber ratio (KR) of animals in each RIG class were compared by Tukey test at 1% of probability. Phenotypic correlations between variables were evaluated as well. Animals on high RIG class showed lower dry matter intake (P < 0.01) and higher average daily gain (P < 0.01) than low RIG animals. Consequently, high RIG animals had lower FCR (P < 0.01) and higher FE (P < 0.01) than those animals in low RIG class. The most efficient animals based on RIG were also the most efficient animals based on RG and RFI. RIG was negatively correlated to dry matter intake (P < 0.01) and FCR (P < 0.01), and a positive correlation was found between RIG and FE (P < 0.01). Therefore, RIG appears to be a good parameter to select animals with reduced dry matter intake and high productive performance.