The growth efficiency of beef animals is considered an extremely relevant and important economic trait, with the main focus to date being on improving feed efficiency in younger animals through breeding. However, the impact of selection for more efficient cattle on carcass and meat quality traits is largely unknown. The objective of the present study was to estimate the genetic covariances between feed efficiency traits with both carcass and meat quality traits in Irish beef cattle. Genetic (co)variance parameters for the efficiency, carcass and meat quality traits were estimated using univariate and bi-variate animal linear mixed models on a dataset of 4,798 animals. Weak to strong heritability estimates were observed for feed efficiency, carcass and meat quality traits in the current study; this suggests the variation among animals for these traits is due to genetic differences. Feed efficiency, carcass and meat quality traits were weak to strongly correlated with each other. Results from the present study provide new insight into the effects of selecting for efficiency and carcass traits on meat quality traits, which can be taken into consideration when outlining new breeding objectives to effectively improve beef production and meat quality in Irish herds. Keywords: efficiency traits, carcass yield, meat quality, genetic (co)variances
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Biology - Feed Intake and Efficiency 1, , 912, 2018
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