Use of residual feed intake (RFI) to select breeding stock in forage-based beef cattle production systems

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Source: University of Manitoba

Team:

Project Leader (Manitoba):  Dr. Kim Ominski, Dept. Animal Science, University of Manitoba Email: k_ominski@umanitoba.ca
Co-Investigators: Karin Wittenberg (U of M), Gary Crow (U of M); John Basarab and Susan Markus (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development), Vern Baron (AAFC), Huston Block (AAFC)

Funding:

MAFRI, MRAC, ALMA, Manitoba Beef Producers, Alberta Beef Producers

Goal:

Determine and quantify the factors which influence RFI of beef cattle under western Canadian conditions (feed intake, diet, temperature and activity) such that RFI can be used as an effective tool for selection of breeding stock in cow-calf production systems

Why is this research important? Being able to use RFI as a tool to select and breed for replacement animals with low RFI indices will serve to improve the economic sustainability of the beef cattle industry. Further, animals with low RFI have also been shown to have lower methane emissions and reduced manure output.

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