Effects of physiological age on residual feed intake of growing heifers
Andrea N. Loyd, Charles R. Long, Andrew W. Lewis, Ronald D. Randel
DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2011.13011   PDF    HTML     5,171 Downloads   9,648 Views   Citations


Using a retrospective evaluation of feed effi- ciency, this study investigated the effects of physiological age on residual feed intake (RFI) in growing heifers. Data were collected during 1973 and 1974 at the McGregor location of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Heifers (n = 77) were obtained from a large crossbreed- ing program utilizing a five-breed diallel mating scheme using Angus, Brahman, Hereford, Hol- stein and Jersey breeds. At approximately 6 months of age, pre-pubertal heifers were indi- vidually penned and received ad libitum access to a balanced diet. Individual feed intake and body weight data were collected at 28-day in- tervals for 84 days prior to puberty and for 90 days after puberty. The diet was changed at puberty to provide a lower energy density. Con- sidering all females as cohorts, RFI was calcu- lated for each heifer for each period using separate models for the pre- and post-pubertal periods. A moderate, positive Pearson correla- tion (r = 0.48; P < 0.001) was detected between pre- and post-pubertal RFI. Furthermore, heifer RFI rank was compared between the pre- and post-pubertal periods using Spearman rank or- der correlation and a similar correlation (r = 0.46; P < 0.001) was revealed. This suggests that RFI determined during the pre-pubertal period may only be a moderate predictor of post-pubertal RFI. As a result, physiological age should be considered when evaluating cattle for feed efficiency using RFI.

Share and Cite:

Loyd, A. , Long, C. , Lewis, A. and Randel, R. (2011) Effects of physiological age on residual feed intake of growing heifers. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 1, 89-92. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2011.13011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Monta?o-Bermudez, M., Nielsen, M.K. and Deutscher, G.H. (1990) Energy requirements for maintenance of crossbred beef cattle with different genetic potential for milk. Journal of Animal Science, 68, 2279-2288.
[2] BIF (2010) Guidelines for uniform beef improvement programs. 9th Edition, Beef Improvement Federation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 24-27.
[3] Brody, S. (1945). Bioenergetics and growth, with special reference to the efficiency complex in domestic animals. Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York.
[4] Richardson, E.C., Herd, R.M., Oddy, V.H., Thompson, J.M., Archer, J.A. and Arthur, P.F. (2001) Body composi- tion and implications for heat production of Angus steer progeny of parents selected for and against residual feed intake. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 41, 1065-1072. doi:10.1071/EA00095
[5] Basarab, J.A., Price, M.A., Aalhus, J.L., Okine, E.K., Snelling, W.M. and Lyle, K.L. (2003) Residual feed in- take and body composition in young growing cattle. Ca- nadian Journal of Animal Science, 83, 189-204. doi:10.4141/A02-065
[6] Lancaster, P.A., Carstens, G.E., Crews Jr., D.H., Welsh Jr., T.H., Forbes, T.D.A., Forrest, D.W., Tedeschi, L.O., Randel, R.D. and Rouquette, F.M. (2009) Phenotypic and genetic relationships of residual feed intake with per- formance and ultrasound carcass traits in Brangus heifers. Journal of Animal Science, 87, 3887-3896. doi:10.2527/jas.2009-2041
[7] Kelly, A.K., McGee, M., Crews Jr., D.H., Fahey, A.G., Wylie, A.R. and Kenny, D.A. (2010) Effect of diver- gence in residual feed intake on feeding behavior, blood metabolic variables, and body composition traits in growing beef heifers. Journal of Animal Science, 88, 109-123. doi:10.2527/jas.2009-2196
[8] Long, C.R., Stewart, T.S., Cartwright, T.C. and Baker, J.F. (1979) Characterization of cattle of a five breed diallel: II. Measures of size, condition and growth in heifers. Jour- nal of Animal Science, 49, 432-447.
[9] Stewart, T.S., Long, C.R. and Cartwright, T.C. (1980) Characterization of cattle of a five-breed diallel. III. Pu- berty in bulls and heifers. Journal of Animal Science, 50, 808-820.
[10] Arthur, P.F., Renand, G. and Krauss, D. (2001) Genetic parameters for growth and feed efficiency in weaner versus yearling Charolais bulls. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 52, 471-476. doi:10.1071/AR00070
[11] Crews Jr., D.H., Shannon, N.H., Genswein, B.M.A., Crews, R.E., Johnson, C.M. and Kendrick, B.A.. (2003) Genetic parameters for net feed efficiency of beef cattle measured during postweaning growing versus finishing periods. Proceedings of the Western Section of the Amer-ican Society of Animal Science, 54, 125-128.
[12] Lancaster, P.A., Carstens, G.E., Ribeiro, F.R.B., Tedeschi, L.O. and Crews Jr., D.H. (2009) Characterization of feed efficiency traits and relationships with feeding behavior and ultrasound carcass traits in growing bulls. Journal of Animal Science, 87, 1528-1539. doi:10.2527/jas.2008-1352
[13] Kelly, A.K., McGee, M., Crews Jr., D.H., Sweeney, T., Boland, T.M. and Kenny, D.A. (2010) Repeatability of feed efficiency, carcass ultrasound, feeding behavior, and blood metabolic variables in finishing heifers divergently selected for residual feed intake. Journal of Animal Sci- ence, 88, 3214-3225. doi:10.2527/jas.2009-2700
[14] SAS. (2002) SAS 8.2 user’s guide: Statistics. SAS Insti- tute, Inc, Cary, NC.
[15] SPSS. (2005) SPSS 15 user’s guide: Statistics. SPSS Incorporated, Chicago, IL.
[16] Mader, C.J., Montanholi, Y.R., Wang, Y.J., Miller, S.P., Mandell, I.B., McBride, B.W. and Swanson, K.C. (2009) Relationships among measures of growth performance and efficiency with carcass traits, visceral organ mass, and pancreatic digestive enzymes in feedlot cattle. Jour- nal of Animal Science, 87, 1548-1557. doi:10.2527/jas.2008-0914
[17] Koch, R.M., Swiger, L.A., Chambers, D. and Gregory, K.E. (1963) Efficiency of feed use in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 22, 486-494.
[18] Cruz, G.D., Rodríguez-Sánchez, J.A., Oltjen, J.W. and Sainz, R.D. (2010) Performance, residual feed intake, digestibility, carcass traits, and profitability of Angus- Hereford steers housed in individual or group pens. Journal of Animal Science, 88, 324-329. doi:10.1080/028418501127346846
[19] Archer, J.A., Reverter, A. Herd, R.M., Johnston, D.J. and Arthur P.F. (2002) Genetic variation in feed intake and efficiency of mature beef cows and relationships with postweaning measurements. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Montpellier, France, 31.
[20] Arthur, P.F., Renand, G. and Krauss, D. (2001) Genetic and phenotypic relationships among different measures of growth and feed efficiency in young Charolais bulls. Livestock Production Science, 68, 131-139. doi:10.1016/S0301-6226(00)00243-8
[21] Herd, R.M. and Arthur, P.F. (2009) Physiological basis for residual feed intake. Journal of Animal Science, 87 (E-Suppl.), E64-E71.
[22] Arthur, P.F. and Herd, R.M. (2005) Efficiency of feed utilization by livestock―Implications and benefits of genetic improvement. Canadian Journal of Animal Sci- ence, 85, 281-290. doi:10.4141/A04-062
[23] Trenkle, A. and Willham, R.L. (1977) Beef production efficiency: The efficiency of beef production can be im- proved by applying knowledge of nutrition and breeding. Science, 198, 1009-1015. doi:10.1126/science.198.4321.1009
[24] Ferrell, C.L. and Jenkins, T.G. (1985) Cow type and the nutritional environment: Nutritional aspects. Journal of Animal Science, 61, 725-741.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.