One of the goals in dairy cattle breeding is to improve the economic efficiency and profitability of production. Feed intake and the biological efficiency with which it is converted into milk, fat and protein are important contributors to profitability. Several studies reported on heritabilities of feed intake and gross feed efficiency measures and their genetic correlations with milk, fat and protein yields (e.g. Van Arendonk et al., 1991 ; Persaud et al., 1991 ; Veerkamp, 1998). Reports on genetic parameters of net efficiency measures are fewer, partially because of the difficulty involved in their estimation(e.g. Veerkamp and Evans, 1995 ; Walter and Mao, 1989). Most of the reports on genetic parameters for feed efficiency in dairy cattle are based on data collected in institution herds and under experimental conditions. The present study reports on genetic parameters for feed efficiency measures in dairy cattle estimated from a large data set collected under normal field conditions in a milk recording program.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 10, , 10.05, 2002
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