Relationship between feed efficiency indexes and performance, body measurements, digestibility, energy partitioning, and nitrogen partitioning in pre-weaning dairy heifers

Autoři: Camila Flávia de Assis Lage aff001;  Sandra Gesteira Coelho aff001;  Hilton do Carmo Diniz Neto aff001;  Victor Marco Rocha Malacco aff001;  João Paulo Pacheco Rodrigues aff002;  João Paulo Sacramento aff003;  Fernanda Samarini Machado aff004;  Luiz Gustavo Ribeiro Pereira aff004;  Thierry Ribeiro Tomich aff004;  Mariana Magalhães Campos aff004
Působiště autorů: Department of Animal Science, School of Veterinary, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos, Belo Horizonte—MG, Brazil aff001;  Institute of Studies of the Humid Tropic, Federal University of South and Southeast of Pará, Xinguara, Pará, Brazil aff002;  Department of Bioengineering, Federal University of São João Del Rey, Praça Frei Orlando, Centro, São João Del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil aff003;  Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, EMBRAPA), Embrapa Dairy Cattle, Av. Eugênio do Nascimento, Juiz de Fora—MG, Brazil aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


The objectives of this study were: 1) to classify animals into groups of high and low feed efficiency using two feed efficiency indexes (Residual feed intake (RFI) and residual feed intake and body weight gain (RIG)), and 2) to evaluate if pre-weaning heifer calves divergent for feed efficiency indexes exhibit differences in performance, body measurements, digestibility, energy partitioning, and nitrogen partitioning. A total of 32 Gyr heifer calves were enrolled in a 63-d trial and classified into two feed efficiency (FE) groups based on RFI and RIG (mean ± 0.5 SD). The groups were classified as high efficiency (HE) RFI (HE RFI, n = 9; HE RIG, n = 10), and low efficiency (LE) RFI (LE RFI, n = 10; LE RIG, n = 11). The remaining animals were classified as intermediate (n = 13 (RFI) and n = 11 (RIG)). HE and LE calves had RFI values of—0.052 and 0.049 kg/d (P < 0.05), respectively. The HE RFI group consumed 8.9% less solid diet than the LE RFI group. HE RFI animals exhibited an increased digestibility of crude protein and ether extract and tended to have greater total dry and organic matter digestibility. LE RFI animals had greater gross energy and nitrogen intake, though greater fecal losses resulted in a tendency to reduce energy and nitrogen use efficiency. HE and LE calves had RIG values of 0.080 and -0.077kg/d (P ≤ 0.01), respectively. HE RIG animals exhibited greater average daily gain (9.4%), body weight (BW), and heart girth, though HE RIG group exhibited narrower hip width. HE RIG animals tended to have greater ether extract digestibility but greater methane losses (% of gross energy). HE RFI in pre-weaning heifers seems to be related to differences in digestibility. Divergent animals for RIG during the assessed phase appear to differ in body measurements, which may be related to differences in the composition of the gain.

Klíčová slova:

Bioenergetics – Body weight – Diet – Hip – Milk – Nutrients – Methane


1. DiGiacomo K, Norris E, Dunshea FR, Hayes BJ, Marett LC, Wales WJ, et al. Responses of dairy cows with divergent residual feed intake as calves to metabolic challenges during midlactation and the nonlactating period. J Dairy Sci. 2018;101(7):6474–85. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-12569 29605310

2. Veerkamp RF. Selection for economic efficiency of dairy cattle using information on live weight and feed intake: a review. J Dairy Sci. 1998;81(4):1109–19. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(98)75673-5 9594400

3. Koch RM, Swiger LA, Chambers D, Gregory KE. Efficiency of Feed Use in Beef Cattle 1. J Anim Sci. 1963;22(2):486–94.

4. Berry DP, Crowley JJ. Residual intake and body weight gain: A new measure of efficiency in growing cattle. J Anim Sci. 2012;90(1):109–15. doi: 10.2527/jas.2011-4245 21890504

5. Herd RM, Arthur PF. Physiological basis for residual feed intake. J Anim Sci. 2009;87(suppl_14):E64–71.

6. McGuirk SM, Steps I. Solving calf morbidity and mortality problems. In: American Association of Bovine Practitioners, 36th Annual Conference. 2003.

7. Silper BF, Lana AMQ, Carvalho AU, Ferreira CS, Franzoni APS, Lima JAM, et al. Effects of milk replacer feeding strategies on performance, ruminal development, and metabolism of dairy calves. J Dairy Sci. 2014;97(2):1016–25. doi: 10.3168/jds.2013-7201 24342682

8. Larson LL, Owen FG, Albright JL, Appleman RD, Lamb RC, Muller LD. Guidelines toward more uniformity in measuring and reporting calf experimental data1. J Dairy Sci. 1977;60(6):989–91.

9. Intl A. Official methods of analysis of AOAC International. Arlington, Va AOAC Intl pv. 1995;

10. Van Soest PJ van, Robertson JB, Lewis BA. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J Dairy Sci. 1991;74(10):3583–97. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78551-2 1660498

11. Wang Z, Nkrumah JD, Li C, Basarab JA, Goonewardene LA, Okine EK, et al. Test duration for growth, feed intake, and feed efficiency in beef cattle using the GrowSafe System. J Anim Sci. 2006;84(9):2289–98. doi: 10.2527/jas.2005-715 16908631

12. Machado FS, Tomich TR, Ferreira AL, Cavalcanti LFL, Campos MM, Paiva CA V, et al. A facility for respiration measurements in cattle. J Dairy Sci. 2016;99(6):4899–906. doi: 10.3168/jds.2015-10298 27016825

13. Drackley JK. Calf Nutrition from Birth to Breeding. Vet Clin North Am—Food Anim Pract. 2008;24(1):55–86. doi: 10.1016/j.cvfa.2008.01.001 18299032

14. Brouwer E. Report of sub-committee on constants and factors. In: Proceedings of the 3rd symposium on energy metabolism of farm animals, 1965. European association for animal production; 1965. p. 441–3.

15. SAS Institute Inc., Cary N. SAS [Internet]. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC. 2011. p. 8640. Available from:

16. Leão JM, Coelho SG, Machado FS, Azevedo RA, Lima JAM, Carneiro JC, et al. Phenotypically divergent classification of preweaned heifer calves for feed efficiency indexes and their correlations with heat production and thermography. J Dairy Sci. 2018;101(6):5060–8. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-14109 29525309

17. Azevedo RA, Machado FS, Campos MM, Furini PM, Rufino SRA, Pereira LGR, et al. The effects of increasing amounts of milk replacer powder added to whole milk on feed intake and performance in dairy heifers. J Dairy Sci. 2016;99(10):8018–27. doi: 10.3168/jds.2015-10457 27474984

18. Gupta M, Khan N, Rastogi A, Haq ZU, Varun TK. Nutritional drivers of rumen development: A review. Agric Rev. 2016;37(2):148–53.

19. Cantalapiedra-Hijar G, Abo-Ismail M, Carstens GE, Guan LL, Hegarty R, Kenny DA, et al. Review: Biological determinants of between-animal variation in feed efficiency of growing beef cattle. Animal. 2018;12(s2):s321–35. doi: 10.1017/S1751731118001489 30139392

20. Coyle S, Fitzsimons C, Kenny DA, Kelly AK, McGee M. Feed efficiency correlations in beef cattle offered zero-grazed grass and a high-concentrate diet. Adv Anim Biosci. 2017;8:121.

21. Allen MS. Drives and limits to feed intake in ruminants. Anim Prod Sci. 2014;54(10):1513–24.

22. Elolimy A, Zhou, Shike D, Loor J. Hypothalamic metabolomics profiling in cattle with divergent residual feed intake. In. American Sairy Science Association Annual Meeting, ADSA, Knoxville, Tenesse, 2018;101–342.

23. Kertz AF, Reutzel LF, Mahoney JH. Ad Libitum Water Intake by Neonatal Calves and Its Relationship to Calf Starter Intake, Weight Gain, Feces Score, and Season. J Dairy Sci. 1984;67(12):2964–9. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(84)81660-4 6530492

24. Basarab JA, Price MA, Aalhus JL, Okine EK, Snelling WM, Lyle KL. Residual feed intake and body composition in young growing cattle. Can J Anim Sci. 2003;83(2):189–204.

25. Nkrumah JD, Basarab JA, Price MA, Okine EK, Ammoura A, Guercio S, et al. Different measures of energetic efficiency and their phenotypic relationships with growth, feed intake, and ultrasound and carcass merit in hybrid cattle. J Anim Sci. 2004;82(8):2451–9. doi: 10.2527/2004.8282451x 15318746

26. Smith SN, Davis ME, Loerch SC. Residual feed intake of Angus beef cattle divergently selected for feed conversion ratio. Livest Sci. 2010;132(1–3):41–7.

27. Kelly AK, McGee M, Crews DH, Lynch CO, Wylie AR, Evans RD, et al. Relationship between body measurements, metabolic hormones, metabolites and residual feed intake in performancetested pedigree beef bulls. Livest Sci. 2011;135(1):8–16.

28. Kelly AK, McGee M, Crews DH, Sweeney T, Boland TM, Kenny DA. Repeatability of feed efficiency, carcass ultrasound, feeding behavior, and blood metabolic variables in finishing heifers divergently selected for residual feed intake. J Anim Sci. 2010;88(10):3214–25. doi: 10.2527/jas.2009-2700 20525931

29. Krueger WK, Carstens GE, Gomez RR, Bourg BM, Lancaster PA, Slay LJ, et al. Relationships between residual feed intake and apparent nutrient digestibility, in vitro methane producing activity and VFA concentrations in growing Brangus heifers. J Anim Sci. 2009;87(E-Suppl. 2):129.

30. Potts SB, Boerman JP, Lock AL, Allen MS, VandeHaar MJ. Relationship between residual feed intake and digestibility for lactating Holstein cows fed high and low starch diets. J Dairy Sci. 2017;100(1):265–78. doi: 10.3168/jds.2016-11079 28341046

31. Harris AJ, Patience JF, Lonergan SM, Dekkers JCM, Gabler NK. Improved nutrient digestibility and retention partially explains feed efficiency gains in pigs selected for low residual feed intake. J Anim Sci. 2012;90(SUPPL4):164–6.

32. Vigors S, Sweeney T, O’Shea CJ, Kelly AK, O’Doherty J V. Pigs that are divergent in feed efficiency, differ in intestinal enzyme and nutrient transporter gene expression, nutrient digestibility and microbial activity. Animal. 2016;10(11):1848–55. doi: 10.1017/S1751731116000847 27173889

33. Sauvant D, Noziere P. Quantification of the main digestive processes in ruminants: the equations involved in the renewed energy and protein feed evaluation systems. animal. 2016;10(5):755–70. doi: 10.1017/S1751731115002670 26696120

34. Bonilha SFM, Branco RH, Mercadante MEZ, Cyrillo JN dos SG, Monteiro FM, Ribeiro EG. Digestion and metabolism of low and high residual feed intake Nellore bulls. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2017;49(3):529–35. doi: 10.1007/s11250-017-1224-9 28124731

35. Heinrichs AJ, Rogers GW, Cooper JB. Predicting Body Weight and Wither Height in Holstein Heifers Using Body Measurements. J Dairy Sci. 2010;75(12):3576–81.

36. Sawa a, Bogucki M, Krężel-Czopek S, Neja W. Relationship between Conformation Traits and Lifetime Production Efficiency of Cows. ISRN Vet Sci. 2013;2013:124690. doi: 10.1155/2013/124690 23878743

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
Nejčtenější tento týden