A significant amount of new feed intake data was included in the mid-June 2017 BREEDPLAN analysis. This is a direct result of the feed intake data being collected in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project (ASBP). This new data has been collected and analysed on steer progeny of the Cohort 5 sires, resulting in Net Feed Intake EBVs, based on direct feed intake data, now being available for 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). Collectively this includes feed intake data on 2,348 steers from ASBP Cohorts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with 585 of these records coming from the Cohort 5 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.
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 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 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 (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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Top image: ASBP Steers Undergoing NFI testing at Tullimba Feedlot.