Net Feed Intake & Efficiency data analysed on 2,348 Angus steers

November 15, 2017 9:00 am

A significant amount of new feed intake data in now analysed in the Angus TACE analysis. This is a direct result of the feed intake data being collected in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project (ASBP), with direct feed intake data now available on 2,348 steers, representing 189 sires in Cohorts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the ASBP.

The feed intake data is collected at UNE’s Tullimba feedlot, Kingstown, NSW through the GrowSafe system (Figure 1).

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.

Figure 2 shows the distribution of net feed intake values among the 2,348 ASBP steers tested to date.  Whilst most steers had a net feed intake value close to zero (i.e. actual feed intake close to expectation) some steers consumed up to 4kg/day more than expected for their growth rate and body weight maintained, whilst other steers consumed up to 4kg/day more than expected.

Importantly, the NFI data collected through the ASBP is analysed in Angus TACE 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 figure 3 are Cohort 5 ASBP sires that have an above average Angus Breeding Index (ABI) and a below average (i.e. more efficient) NFI-F EBV.

The latest NFI EBVs for all sires in the ASBP are available from the Angus Australia website through the ASBPSELECT tool ( 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

Top image: ASBP Steers Undergoing NFI testing at Tullimba Feedlot.

See the Tullimba GrowSafe Feed intake facilities in action

You’re invited to attend the Angus Sire Benchmarking (ASBP) and Cohort 6 steer viewing on Thursday the 30th of November, at the Tullimba Research Feedlot, Torryburn NSW from 2.30 – 4.30pm.

Why Come and look?

1. Learn about the latest Angus R&D.

2. Hear from Dr Linda Cafe (NSW DPI) on the Retail Beef Yield project.

3. Inspect approximately 300 ASBP Cohort 6 steers identified to their Angus sire.

4. See the Tullimba GrowSafe feed intake facilities in action.

5. View 3D camera technology that assesses muscle score and rump fat on the live steer.

Who is invited?

The day is open to ALL beef producers and industry representatives.

What is the ASBP?

The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP) is a major R&D initiative of Angus Australia with support from MLA and industry partners such as Vetoquinol, Rangers Valley Feedlot and John Dee Abattoir. The objectives of the ASBP are:

  • Generate progeny test data on modern Angus bulls, particularly for hard to measure traits such as feed efficiency, abattoir carcase measurement, meat quality attributes & female reproduction.
  • Generate data for the validation & refinement of Angus TACE.
  • Build a comprehensive phenotype & genotype database on Australian Angus for genomic technology validation, research & development.

To help with catering, PLEASE RSVP by 22nd November

Contact Amanda Wolfe on (02) 6773 4600 or email

For more information visit