As we have learned from other chapters in this book, feed efficiency (FE) is really about reducing the cost of producing beef by focusing on the single most expensive input, feed (see also Chapters 1–4). However, it should be recognized from both the scientific and the animal management perspectives that focusing selection on a single trait is problematic. Modern, quantitative genetic selection approaches aim to develop tools such as selection indices that balance several traits. Thus, improving FE through genetic selection requires a carefully measured and balanced approach. Note that a greater focus on genetics is presented in Chapters 5 and 7. Our objective for this chapter is to present perspectives from animal management, nutrition, and physiology disciplines. In this chapter, we will focus on the relationships between FE (that optimizes inputs) with two broad categories of producer revenue determinants, growth, and product quality (that optimize outputs).
|Title of host publication||Feed efficiency in the beef industry|
|Editors||Rodney A. Hill|
|Place of Publication||Ames, Iowa|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|