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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1994;7(3): 441-448.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1994.441    Published online September 1, 1994.
Divergent selection for postweaning feed conversion in angus beef cattle V. Prediction of feed conversion using weights and linear body measurements
N. H. Park, M. D. Bishop, M. E. Davis
Abstract
Postweaning performance data were obtained on 187 group fed purebred Angus calves from 12 selected sires (six high and six low feed conversion sires) in 1985 and 1986. The objective of this portion of the study was to develop prediction equations for feed conversion from a stepwise regression analysis. Variables measured were on-test weight (ONTSWT), on-test age (ONTSTAG), five weights by 28-d periods, seven linear body measurements: heart girth (HG), hip height (HH), head width (HDW), head length (HDL), muzzle circumference (MC), length between hooks and pins (HOPIN) and length between shoulder and hooks (SHHO), and backfat thickness (BF). Stepwise regressions for maintenance adjusted feed conversion (ADJFC) and unadjusted feed conversion (UNADFC) over the first 140 d of the test, and total feed conversion (FC) until progeny reached 8.89 mm of backfat were obtained separately by conversion groups and sexes and for combined feed conversion groups and sexes. In general, weights were more important than linear body measurements in prediction of feed utilization. To some extent this was expected as weight is related directly to gain which is a component of feed conversion. Weight at 112 d was the most important variable in predicton of feed conversion when data from both feed conversion groups and sexes were combined. Weights at 84 and 140 d had the highest standardized partial regression coefficients for UNADFC and FC, respectively, of bulls. ONTSTWT and weight at 140 d had the highest standardized partial regression coefficients for UNADFC and ADJFC, respectively, of heifers. Results indicated that linear measurements, such as MC, HDL and HOPIN, are useful in prediction of feed conversion when feed intakes are unavailable.
Keywords: Beef Cattle; Prediction; Linear Body Measurements; Feed Conversion


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