Characterization of energetically efficient and inefficient beef cows.

Alfredo DiCostanzo, J. C. Meiske, S. D. Plegge

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14 Scopus citations


Dry matter intake and BW data from 14 mature, nonpregnant, nonlactating Angus cows that were individually fed through two consecutive 70- to 80-d periods (maintenance and ad libitum) were used to predict ADG (ADG = -.512 + .213 DMI - .0017 BW, R2 = .95). This equation then was used to identify feed efficiency types among these cows. Cows were identified as average type (A) if ADG was within one SE of predicted ADG, and as efficient (E) or inefficient types (I) if ADG exceeded one SE above or below, respectively, its predicted ADG. Four, four, and six cows were identified and grouped as I, A, and E types, respectively. During the maintenance period, DM and ME intake and ADG were similar (P greater than .10) across all three efficiency types. But during the ad libitum period, voluntary DM and ME intakes of I cows were greater (P less than .05) than those of A or E cows. Average daily gains of I cows during ad libitum feeding were greater (P less than .10) than those of A cows. Daily ME required for maintenance of I cows was highest, that of A cows was intermediate, and that of E cows was lowest (180.2, 154.6, and 135.1 kcal/kg BW.75, respectively). Inefficient cows tended (P greater than .10) to have less fat and deposited more protein (P less than .05) than A and E cows (137.9 vs 77.2 and 46.2 protein g/d, respectively). Concurrent with higher protein accretion rates, liver weights of I cows were heavier (P less than .05) than those of A and E cows (8.58 vs 7.79 and 7.68 kg, respectively). Inefficient cows were characterized by higher energy requirements for maintenance. Their high protein accretion may partially explain their higher maintenance requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1348
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991


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