Feed efficiency of tropically adapted cattle when fed in winter or spring in a temperate location. Academic Article uri icon


  • Earlier work has shown that young tropically adapted cattle do not gain weight as rapidly as temperately adapted cattle during the winter in Oklahoma. The objective for this study was to determine whether efficiency of gains was also affected in tropically adapted cattle and whether efficiency was consistent over different seasons. Over 3 yr, 240 straightbred and crossbred steers (F1 and 3-way crosses) of Angus, Brahman, or Romosinuano breeding, born in Brooksville, FL, were transported to El Reno, OK in October and fed in 2 phases to determine performance, individual intake, and efficiency. Phase 1 (WIN) began in November after a 28-d recovery from shipping stress and phase 2 (SS) began in March, 28 d following completion of WIN each year. The diet for WIN was a grower diet (14% CP, 1.10 Mcal NEg/kg) and that for the SS was a feedlot diet (12.8% CP; 1.33 Mcal NEg/kg). After a 14-d adjustment to diet and facilities, intake trials were conducted over a period of 56 to 162 d for determination of intake and gain for efficiency. Body weights were recorded at approximately 14-d intervals, and initial BW, median BW, and ADG were determined from individual animal regressions of BW on days on feed. Individual daily DMI was then regressed by phase on median BW and ADG, and residuals of regression were recorded as residual feed intake (RFI). Similarly, daily gain was regressed by phase on median BW and DMI, and errors of regression were recorded as residual gain (RADG). Gain to feed (G:F) was also calculated. The statistical model to evaluate ADG, DMI, and efficiency included fixed effects of dam age (3 to 4, 5, 6 to 10, and >10 yr), harvest group (3 per year), age on test, and a nested term DT (ST XB), where DT is the proportion tropical breeding of dam (0, 0.5, or 1), ST is the proportion tropical breeding of sire (1 or 0), and XB whether the calf was straightbred or crossbred. Year of record, sire (ST XB), and pen were random effects. Preweaning ADG and BW increased (P < 0.05) with level of genetic tropical influence, but during the WIN, ADG and efficiency estimated by G:F and RADG declined (P < 0.05). Tropical influence had little effect on RFI during the WIN, or on most traits during SS. In general, during SS, crossbred steers gained faster and were more efficient by G:F and RADG (P < 0.05) than straightbred steers. Simple correlations, both Pearson and Spearman, between RFI in WIN and RFI in SS were 0.51 (P < 0.001), whereas that for RADG was 0.17 (P < 0.01).

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Coleman, S. W., Chase, C. C., Phillips, W. A., & Riley, D. G.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • January 2018