Feed costs represent the greatest item of expense in animal production. The profit in the cattle industry is highly dependent on efficient utilization of feed. Feed required by a specific animal is dependent on a weight-time function of maintenance needs, weight gained and composition of weight gain. Maintenance needs may be associated with energy required for digestion, metabolism and physical activity. Rapid rate of gain is generally associated with a lower ratio of feed consumed to units of gain. Since crossbreeding results in heterosis for rate of gain (Drewry et al., 1979; Gregory et al., 1966; and Lasley et al,. 1973), crossbred cattle should also require less feed to produce one unit of gain in the postweaning period.
The objective of this study was to estimate the influence of crossbreeding on rate of gain and two measures of feed conversion.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 8. Symposia (2), , 405–409, 1982
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