Maintenance requirements and energetic efficiency of cows of different breed types. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dry, nonpregnant, mature cows (greater than 10 yr) of five breeds (Angus, A; Brahman, B; Hereford, He; Holstein, Ho; and Jersey, J) and their crosses (n = 60) were used in a 428-d experiment to determine maintenance energy requirements and efficiency of energy exchange. Cows were fed individually (via Calan electronic gates) a 70% cottonseed hull diet for four consecutive periods (127, 105, 97 and 99 d) at each of four levels (50, 83, 117 and 150% of each animal's estimated maintenance requirement). Each of four cows/breed group was assigned to one of the four feeding levels each period, with one cow fed each level each period. Body composition was measured initially and following each period in all cows via D2O dilution with a two-pool kinetics model procedure. Average ending live weight and empty body weight, protein and fat were similar to beginning values, indicating that cows began and ended in similar body composition. Dry matter digestibility (DMD) following the last period averaged 54.7%. Average DMD was 53.5, 57.8, 52.0, 55.0 and 51.7% (standard error of mean [SE] = 2.1) for A, B, He, Ho and J; values for He and J were lower (P less than .05) than for B. Diet digestible energy (DE) was similar for all breed types and averaged 62.4% of gross energy (GE). A small decrease in DE with increasing GE intake was noted for all breed types. The daily metabolizable energy requirement for weight equilibrium for A, B, He, Ho and J differed (P less than .01) and was 100, 98, 108, 119 and 152 kcal/kg.75 (SE 4.8), respectively, with an overall mean of 107. The ME for maintenance (MEm) was 91.6, 93.8, 95.3, 115.7 and 140.4 kcal/kg.75 for A, B, He, Ho and J (SE 6.0), respectively, with an overall mean of 101.9. Efficiency of weight change for A, B, He, Ho and J differed (P less than .01) and was 116, 135, 80, 116 and 58 g/Mcal ME intake, respectively, with an overall mean of 96. The respective efficiency of ME use for tissue energy gain or loss was 80.6, 66.8, 66.0, 36.5 and 36.2% for A, B, He, Ho and J, with an average energetic efficiency of 60.1%. In general, maintenance requirements for weight and energy equilibrium were lower in beef breeds and their crosses than in dairy breeds and their crosses. Efficiency of ME use also favored the beef breeds over the dairy breeds.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Solis, J. C., Byers, F. M., Schelling, G. T., Long, C. R., & Greene, L. W.

citation count

  • 76

complete list of authors

  • Solis, JC||Byers, FM||Schelling, GT||Long, CR||Greene, LW

publication date

  • March 1988