More Feed Intake Data and Structural Soundness Scores for the Angus Reference Population

October 30, 2019 10:35 am

A significant volume of feed intake data and structural soundness scores have recently been added to the Angus Australia reference population and included in the Angus BREEDPLAN analysis.

This  data  was  collected  on  Angus  Sire  Benchmarking  Program  (ASBP)  Cohort  7  progeny,  producing  high  accuracy Net Feed Intake and Structural Soundness EBVs for the ASBP Cohort 7 sires.

Feed Intake

Feed  Intake  data  has  been  collected  and  analysed  on  steer progeny of the Cohort 7 sires, resulting in Net Feed Intake EBVs, based on direct feed intake data, now being available for 264 sires in Cohorts 1 to 7 of the ASBP.

 The  feed  intake  data  is  collected  at  UNE’s  Tullimba  feedlot, Kingstown, NSW through the GrowSafe system. Collectively,  this  includes  feed  intake  data  on  3,496  steers from ASBP Cohorts 1 to 7, with 560 of the records coming from the Cohort 7 bred steers.

 Feed intake and serial weight data are used to calculate net  feed  intake  (NFI)  values  for  each  steer  measured.    NFI is a measure of residual feed intake after adjustment for  differences  in  average  body  weight  maintained  and  growth  rate  through  the  test  period.    Animals  with  a  negative  NFI  value  consume  less  feed  than  expected  based on their growth rate and body weight maintained.  While  animals  with  positive  NFI  value  consume  more  feed  than  expected  for  their  growth  performance  and  average body weight.

Importantly, the NFI data collected through the ASBP is analysed in Angus BREEDPLAN to produce the Net Feed Intake – Feedlot Finishing EBV (NFI-F EBV). This EBV is an estimate of genetic differences between animals in feed intake at a standard weight and rate of weight gain when animals are in a feedlot finishing phase. NFI-F EBVs are expressed as kilograms (kg) of feed intake per day. Lower, or  more  negative,  NFI-F  EBVs  are  more  favourable.  For  example,  a  bull  with  a  NFI-F  EBV  of  –0.6  kg/day  would  be expected to produce progeny that consume less feed per  day  than  the  progeny  from  a  bull  that  has  a  NFI-F  EBV  of  +0.8  kg/day  (when  the  progeny  are  of  similar  weight, are growing at a similar rate, and are in a feedlot finishing phase).

Listed  in  Table  1  are  Cohort  7  ASBP  sires  that  have  an  above average Angus Breeding Index (ABI) and a below average (i.e. more efficient) NFI-F EBV.

Structural Soundness

Feet  and  leg  structural  soundness  scores,  evaluated  using the Beef Class system (Figure 1), has been collected on  1,039  Cohort  7  steer  and  heifer  progeny.  The  steer  progeny  were  assessed  following  approximately  100  days on feed around 16 months of age, while the heifers were  assessed  on  farm  at  approximately  18  months of age.

Across  Cohorts  1  to  7  of  the  ASBP,  6,181  progeny  have  now  been  assessed  for  the  structural  soundness  traits,  added to the Angus Australia reference population and analysed through Angus BREEDPLAN.

A  list  of  the  “top  10”  Cohort  7  sires  for  each  Structural  Soundness EBV is shown in Tables 2 to 6.

Structural Soundness EBVS are interpreted as estimates of  genetic  differences  between  animals  in  desirable  feet  and  leg  structure.  A  higher  EBV  indicates  that  an  animal will produce a higher percentage of progeny with desirable structure. There are five Structural Soundness EBVs produced being:

  • Front Feet Angle (FA)
  • Front Feet Claw Set (FC)
  • Rear Feet Angle(RA)
  • Rear Leg Hind View (RH)
  • Rear Leg Side View (RS)

The  latest  NFI  and  Structural  Soundness  EBVs  for  all  sires in the ASBP are available from the Angus Australia website   through   angus.tech   and   the   ASBPSELECT tool  (https://angus.tech/enquiry/animal/asbp).  Progeny  average  values  and  rankings  for  NFI  are  also  listed  in  updated ASBP Progeny Performance Reports.

For  further  information  please  contact  Christian  Duff,  Strategic Projects Manager on 0457 457 141 or christian@angusaustralia.com.au

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