Rotational 3-breed crossbred cows of Montbéliarde, Viking Red, and Holstein (CB) were compared with Holstein (HO) cows for alternative measures of feed efficiency as well as income over feed cost (IOFC) and residual feed intake (RFI) during the first 150 d of first, second, and third lactations. Primiparous and multiparous CB (n = 63 and n = 43, respectively) and HO (n = 60 and n = 37, respectively) cows were fed the same total mixed ration twice daily with refusals weighed once daily. Feed was analyzed for dry matter content, net energy for lactation, and crude protein content. Body weight (BW) was recorded twice weekly. Daily production of milk, fat, and protein were estimated from monthly test days with best prediction. Measures of efficiency from 4 to 150 d in milk (DIM) were feed conversion efficiency (FCE), defined as fat plus protein production (kg) per kilogram of dry matter intake (DMI); ECM/DMI, defined as kilograms of energy-corrected milk (ECM) per kilogram of DMI; net energy for lactation efficiency (NE L E), defined as ECM (kg) per megacalorie of net energy for lactation intake; crude protein efficiency (CPE), defined as true protein production (kg) per kilogram of crude protein intake; and DMI/BW, defined as DMI (kg) per kilogram of BW. The IOFC was defined as revenue from fat plus protein production minus feed cost. The RFI from 4 to 150 DIM for each lactation was the residual error remaining from regression of DMI on milk energy output (Mcal), metabolic BW, and energy required for change in BW (Mcal). Statistical analysis of measures of feed efficiency and RFI for primiparous cows included the fixed effects of year of calving and breed group. For multiparous cows, statistical analysis included breed as a fixed effect and cow as a repeated effect nested within breed group. Primiparous CB cows had higher means for FCE (+5.5%), ECM/DMI (+4.0%), NE L E (+4.0%), and CPE (+5.2%) and a lower mean DMI/BW (–5.3%) than primiparous HO cows. Primiparous CB cows ($875) also had higher mean IOFC than primiparous HO cows ($825). In addition, mean RFI from 4 to 150 DIM was significantly lower (more desirable) for primiparous CB cows than HO cows. Likewise, multiparous CB cows had higher means for FCE (+8.2%), ECM/DMI (+5.9%), NE L E (+5.8%), and CPE (+8.1%) and a lower mean for DMI/BW (–4.8%) than multiparous HO cows. Multiparous CB cows ($1,296) also had a higher mean for IOFC than multiparous HO cows ($1,208) and a lower mean for RFI from 4 to 150 DIM than HO cows.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors express gratitude to the staff at the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Facility of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul for their assistance in data collection and care of animals. Funding for this project was provided by Coopex Montb?liarde (Roulans, France), Viking Genetics (Randers, Denmark), and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (University of Minnesota, St. Paul).
The authors express gratitude to the staff at the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Facility of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul for their assistance in data collection and care of animals. Funding for this project was provided by Coopex Montbéliarde (Roulans, France), Viking Genetics (Randers, Denmark), and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (University of Minnesota, St. Paul).
© 2019 American Dairy Science Association
- feed efficiency