Genomic selection for feed efficiency in dairy cattle
JE Pryce, WJ Wales, Y de Haas, RF Veerkamp, BJ Hayes
ANIMAL | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2014
Feed is a major component of variable costs associated with dairy systems and is therefore an important consideration for breeding objectives. As a result, measures of feed efficiency are becoming popular traits for genetic analyses. Already, several countries account for feed efficiency in their breeding objectives by approximating the amount of energy required for milk production, maintenance, etc. However, variation in actual feed intake is currently not captured in dairy selection objectives, although this could be possible by evaluating traits such as residual feed intake (RFI), defined as the difference between actual and predicted feed (or energy) intake. As feed intake is expensive t..View full abstract
This review is based on an invited presentation at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) held in Bratislava, Slovakia, August 2012. Jennie Pryce would like to acknowledge the American Association of Animal Science for a travel grant to attend EAAP. Members of gDMI are thanked for useful discussions. The authors are especially grateful to Mike Coffey (Scottish Rural University College, Edinburgh, UK) and Matthew Bell (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK) for their contributions. The Australian authors would also like to acknowledge the Gardiner Foundation, Melbourne, Australia and the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre for funding DEPI's research activities in FCE.