Relationships of feeding behaviors with efficiency in RFI-divergent Japanese Black cattle

M Mcgee, JA Ramirez, GE Carstens, WJ Price, JB Hall, RA Hill

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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New approaches to limit expenses associated with input, without compromising profit, are needed in the beef industry. Residual feed intake (RFI) is an efficiency trait that measures variation in feed intake beyond maintenance, growth, and body composition. The addition of feeding behavior analysis to standard RFI tests may provide an approach to more readily identify feed-efficient cattle. The current study analyzes 7 feeding behaviors (BVFREQ: bunk visit frequency, BVDUR: bunk visit duration, FBFREQ: feed bout frequency, FBDUR: feed bout duration, MFREQ: meal frequency, MDUR: meal duration, and AMINT: average meal intake) and their relationships with RFI, ADG, and DMI in Japanese Black (Wagyu) cattle. Three cohorts of yearling Wagyu animals were studied using a standard 70-d RFI test, and data from divergent (+/- 0.5 SD from population RFI mean) subsets of animals were analyzed for feeding behaviors [n = 58, bulls on high-concentrate diet (C1); n = 36, bulls on a lower-concentrate diet (C2); n = 34, heifers on a lower-concentrate diet (C3)]. The following behaviors were correlated with ADG: BVFREQ (r = 0.32, P = 0.01; C1 bulls), BVDUR (r = 0.42, P = 0.01, C2 bulls), FBFREQ (r = 0.37, P <0.01; C1 bulls), FBDUR (r = 0.46, P <0.01, C1 bulls), and MFREQ (r = 0.42, P <0.01, C2 bulls). Behaviors were trending or significantly correlated with DMI for all cases except for MFREQ for C3 and AMINT for C2. Residual feed intake was positively correlated with MDUR across all cohorts (r = 0.31, P = 0.02; r = 0.38, P = 0.02; r = 0.54, P >= 0.01, respectively). For C2 bulls and C3 heifers, RFI was positively correlated with behavior frequency categories (BVFREQ; r = 0.44, P = 0.01; r = 0.60, P = 0.01, respectively, and FBFREQ r = 0.46, P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3580-3590
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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