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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290

Abstract

LUCILA SOBRINHO, T. et al. Residual feed intake and relationships with performance of Nellore cattle selected for post weaning weight. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.4, pp. 929-937. ISSN 1806-9290.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982011000400030.

The objective of this work was to evaluate performance, efficiency parameters and phenotypic correlations among measurements of energy efficiency of Nellore cattle selected for post weaning weight and classified according to residual feed intake, calculated by the difference between observed and predicted intake, based on average metabolic body weight and average daily gain. Thus, animals were classified within three groups: high (> mean + 0.5 standard deviation, less efficient); medium (±0.5 standard deviation of the mean); and low (< mean - 0.5 standard deviation, more efficient) residual feed intake. No differences were observed at initial and final body weights, average daily gain and dry matter intake among groups. Animals with low residual feed intake also had greater feed efficiency, feed conversion and partial efficiency of growth and did not differ from the other animals regarding to relative growth rate and Kleiber ratio. Residual feed intake was significantly correlated to feed efficiency (-0.25), feed conversion (0.25), partial efficiency of growth (-0.37) and dry matter intake (0.16) but it did not present significant correlation with body weight (0.04), average daily gain (-0.02), relative growth rate (-0.03) and Kleiber ratio (-0.05). Significant correlations were found between feed conversion and initial body weight (0.34) and average daily gain (-0.46). Partial efficiency of growth presented significant correlation with all other efficiency parameters analyzed. Residual feed intake has high potential in productive efficiency, when compared to the other energy efficiency measurements, being independent of growth and size of the animals.

Keywords : beef cattle; efficiency parameters; selection.

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