Abstract

Genomic selection for feed efficiency in beef cattle offers an opportunity to reduce feed costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission while increasing profitability and environmental sustainability in beef production. In the beginning of 2013 at the University of Alberta Roy Berg Kinsella Research Ranch, Kinsella, Canada, a project for selection of improved feed efficiency, i.e. low residual feed intake (RFI), using molecular breeding values (MBVs) in a multiple trait selection index was initiated. It involves three beef cattle populations namely, Kinsella beef composite herd (KC) which was split into efficient and control herds, purebred Angus (AN), and purebred Charolais (CH). Preliminary assessment of genetic trends after two years of selection showed that average estimated breeding values (EBV) for RFI in the three beef cattle populations changed favorably. The KC-Efficient herd had a lower average EBV for RFI of 0.026±0.015 Kg DMI/d in comparison to 0.044±0.017 Kg DMI/d in the control herd and 0.056±0.013 Kg DMI/d in the base efficient herd from 2013. Average EBV for RFI in the Angus population decreased from 0.065±0.02 to 0.053±0.023 Kg DMI/d and that for Charolais from 0.118±0.025 to 0.039±0.026 Kg DMI/d. Demonstration of the results achieved, especially in the longer term, will help support the adoption of genomic technology in combination with RFI and increase farm profits due to reduced feed input costs in cow-calf and feeder cattle operations in Canada. Keywords: genomic selection, molecular breeding value, selection index, efficient

Chinyere Ekine-Dzivenu, Everestus Akanno, Liuhong Chen, Lisa McKeown, Barry Irving, Lynda Baker, Michael Vinsky, Stephen Miller, Zhiquan Wang, John Crowley, Marcos Colazo, Divakar Ambrose, Manuel Juarez, Heather Bruce, Michael MacNeil, Graham Plastow, John Basarab, Changxi Li, Carolyn Fitzsimmons

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Genetic Gain - Breeding Strategies 2, , 809, 2018
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