Impact of including growth, carcass and feed efficiency traits in the breeding goal for combined milk and beef production systems

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/188611

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Hietala , P & Juga , J 2017 , ' Impact of including growth, carcass and feed efficiency traits in the breeding goal for combined milk and beef production systems ' , Animal , vol. 11 , no. 4 , pp. 564-573 . https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116001877

Title: Impact of including growth, carcass and feed efficiency traits in the breeding goal for combined milk and beef production systems
Author: Hietala, P.; Juga, J.
Contributor organization: Department of Agricultural Sciences
Animal Science Research
Date: 2017-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Animal
ISSN: 1751-7311
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116001877
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/188611
Abstract: Improving feed efficiency in dairy cattle could result in more profitable and environmentally sustainable dairy production through lowering feed costs and emissions from dairy farming. In addition, beef production based on dairy herds generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of meat output than beef production from suckler cow systems. Different scenarios were used to assess the profitability of adding traits, excluded from the current selection index for Finnish Ayrshire, to the breeding goal for combined dairy and beef production systems. The additional breeding goal traits were growth traits (average daily gain of animals in the fattening and rearing periods), carcass traits (fat covering, fleshiness and dressing percentage), mature live weight (LW) of cows and residual feed intake (RFI) traits. A breeding scheme was modeled for Finnish Ayrshire under the current market situation in Finland using the deterministic simulation software ZPLAN+. With the economic values derived for the current production system, the inclusion of growth and carcass traits, while preventing LW increase generated the highest improvement in the discounted profit of the breeding program (3.7%), followed by the scenario where all additional traits were included simultaneously (5.1%). The use of a selection index that included growth and carcass traits excluding LW, increased the profit (0.8%), but reduced the benefits resulted from breeding for beef traits together with LW. A moderate decrease in the profit of the breeding program was obtained when adding only LW to the breeding goal (-3.1%), whereas, adding only RFI traits to the breeding goal resulted in a minor increase in the profit (1.4%). Including beef traits with LW in the breeding goal showed to be the most potential option to improve the profitability of the combined dairy and beef production systems and would also enable a higher rate of self-sufficiency in beef. When considering feed efficiency related traits, the inclusion of LW traits in the breeding goal that includes growth and carcass traits could be more profitable than the inclusion of RFI, because the marginal costs of measuring LW can be expected to be lower than for RFI and it is readily available for selection. In addition, before RFI can be implemented as a breeding objective, the genetic correlations between RFI and other breeding goal traits estimated for the studied population as well as information on the most suitable indicator traits for RFI are needed to assess more carefully the consequences of selecting for RFI.
Subject: dairy cattle
breeding program design
feed efficiency
beef production
DAIRY-CATTLE
GENOMIC SELECTION
COWS
CHALLENGES
STRATEGIES
WEIGHT
INDEX
YIELD
412 Animal science, dairy science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion


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