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Effects of incorporating dry matter intake and residual feed intake into a selection index for dairy cattle using deterministic modeling

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  • Kerry Houlahan, University of Guelph
  • ,
  • Flavio S. Schenkel, University of Guelph
  • ,
  • Dagnachew Hailemariam, University of Alberta
  • ,
  • Jan Lassen
  • Morten Kargo
  • John B. Cole, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD
  • ,
  • Erin E. Connor, University of Delaware
  • ,
  • Silvia Wegmann, Qualitas AG
  • ,
  • Gerson A. Oliveira, University of Guelph
  • ,
  • Filippo Miglior, University of Guelph
  • ,
  • Allison Fleming, Lactanet Canada
  • ,
  • Tatiane C.S. Chud, University of Guelph
  • ,
  • Christine F. Baes, University of Guelph, University of Bern

The inclusion of feed efficiency in the breeding goal for dairy cattle has been discussed for many years. The effects of incorporating feed efficiency into a selection index were assessed by indirect selection (dry matter intake) and direct selection (residual feed intake) using deterministic modeling. Both traits were investigated in three ways: (1) restricting the trait genetic gain to zero, (2) applying negative selection pressure, and (3) applying positive selection pressure. Changes in response to selection from economic and genetic gain perspectives were used to evaluate the impact of including feed efficiency with direct or indirect selection in an index. Improving feed efficiency through direct selection on residual feed intake was the best scenario analyzed, with the highest overall economic response including favorable responses to selection for production and feed effi-ciency. Over time, the response to selection is cumulative, with the potential for animals to reduce consumption by 0.16 kg to 2.7 kg of dry matter per day while maintaining production. As the selection pressure increased on residual feed intake, the response to selection for production, health, and fertility traits and body condition score became increasingly less favorable. This work provides in-sight into the potential long-term effects of selecting for feed efficiency as residual feed intake.

StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: We gratefully acknowledge the funding and support from the Efficient Dairy Genome Project (EDGP) and the Resilient Dairy Genome Project (RDGP) including Genome Canada (Ottawa, ON, Canada), Genome Alberta (Calgary, AB, Canada), Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (Toronto, ON, Canada), Genome Quebec (Montreal, QC, Canada), Genome British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Lactanet (Guelph, ON, Canada), Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON, Canada), Aarhus University (Foulum, Denmark), The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (Bowie, MD, United States), Qualitas AG (Zug, Switzerland), USDA—Agricultural Research Service (Beltsville, MD, United States), GrowSafe Systems (Calgary, AB, Canada), Allflex Livestock Intelligence (Madison, WI, United States), Afimilk Ltd. (Afikim, Israel), Nedap NV (Groenlo, The Netherlands), Illumina (Vancouver, BC, Canada). This research was also financially supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Ottawa, ON, Canada), and by additional contributions from Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON Canada), Lactanet (Guelph, ON, Canada), and the Canadian Dairy Commission (Ottawa, ON, Canada) under the Agri-Science Clusters Initiative. C. Baes gratefully acknowledges support from NSERC (Ottawa, ON, Canada). John B. Cole was supported by appropriated project 8042-31000-002-00-D, “Improving Dairy Animals by Increasing Accuracy of Genomic Prediction, Evaluating New Traits, and Redefining Selection Goals” of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Belts-ville, MD, USA). The mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the USDA. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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