Phenotyping feed conversion...pictures anyone?

Help Support CattleToday:

BARNSCOOP

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
336
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeastern,TN. USA
I would like to see examples of cattle that just by phenotype would most likely have a high fed conversion. Could you please explain what to look for and why?
 

cmf1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Louisiana
From what I have learned and am still learning about phenotyping, I think you have to specify feed type.
It seems to me that an animal that converts grass well has different phenotype than that which converts grains, than that which converts a mixture, and so on.
Seems also that end use would dictate feed and phenotype, i.e., you could make efficient grass converter plump large on feed for butchering, but maybe not so good for gowing out herd replacements, and long term use?

I am really interested to see what other input you get on this post because to me it seems like a cornerstone for profitability.
 

BeefmasterB

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
Location
SE TX
cmf1":2lwya6qa said:
From what I have learned and am still learning about phenotyping, I think you have to specify feed type.
It seems to me that an animal that converts grass well has different phenotype than that which converts grains, than that which converts a mixture, and so on.
Seems also that end use would dictate feed and phenotype, i.e., you could make efficient grass converter plump large on feed for butchering, but maybe not so good for gowing out herd replacements, and long term use?

I am really interested to see what other input you get on this post because to me it seems like a cornerstone for profitability.

And, interestingly enough, there's not much data available on the type of feed used when running feed conversion trials. Residual Feed Intake seems to be the new best measurement of efficiency but no one seems to agree on the methodology or calculations used to figure it!
 

cmf1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Louisiana
I've watched Dr. JP on the midland videos before and it all makes sense. That's why I find it so interesting.
But nothing there even hints at eyeballing phenotype for RFI.
It also makes sense to me that different phenotypes will prosper or fail on different feeds.(?)
Gerald Fry, among others, feel like they have pretty much identified phenotypes (and some genetics) that prosper on grasses. Looking up "grass fed phenotypes" you can get a pretty clear picture of what they believe to be the most efficient body types of cattle relative to grass feeding.
So is this phenotype also efficient on grains or the type of feeding you do?
I think it's so important to profitability these days that studies will continue to try to identify the "markers" so to speak.
 

BeefmasterB

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
Location
SE TX
I tried "grass fed phenotype" and didn't get any hits. Do you have any links I could check out?

There are at least a couple of comanies that test DNA for feed effiency. One is Genestar (Phizer) and the other is Igenity. Igenity specializes in Bos Indicus and Taures influenced cattle.

I have never had any tests done on mine but there are quite a few papers published that do mention the efficiency of specific breeds. Here's an example but you have to hunt a bit for breed mention:

http://www.funpecrp.com.br/GMR/year2005 ... l_text.htm
 

cmf1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Louisiana
Here's one link. It's a long pdf file, but if you'll scroll a little past halfway down, page 14, the article:
Grazing Performance —
It’s all in the Genes

http://www.pasafarming.org/resource/PDF/Newsletter Archives/JanFeb 2004.pdf

His pinpoint definitions kinda give you an indication that he's at least thought about this.

This one was the first time I had heard of Gerald, it is pdf also. go to page 9. He's got an interesting take on the history of the beef industry and where it is now with phenotype info included.

"Defining Grass Genetics By: Gerald Fry"
http://www.slaba.us/pdf/2008/Newsletter[1]2.pdf
This article and file is from the Lowline Ass., but it is applied and reprinted in other larger frame breed associations as well.

It may or may not be beef scriptures, but it does seem to make sense.
 

cmf1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Louisiana
Nova.
You have my interest up.
Do your long ears and humps convert grass, grain or both. And how do you define good conversion.
I've got some tigerstripes that are hit and miss with conversion but make some of the best babies around.
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,765
Reaction score
269
Location
Heart of Texas
cmf1":3phpsmcj said:
Nova.
You have my interest up.
Do your long ears and humps convert grass, grain or both. And how do you define good conversion.
I've got some tigerstripes that are hit and miss with conversion but make some of the best babies around.

Bet they're converting something to lots of milk. ;-)
 

alacattleman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
4,141
Reaction score
0
Location
heart of dixie
TexasBred":1eewanj2 said:
cmf1":1eewanj2 said:
Nova.
You have my interest up.
Do your long ears and humps convert grass, grain or both. And how do you define good conversion.
I've got some tigerstripes that are hit and miss with conversion but make some of the best babies around.

Bet they're converting something to lots of milk. ;-)
sure do thats one of their suit's,, but if your talking about the the f1 tigers momas body condition are fleshing ability, ive had the same thing in the past,,
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,258
Reaction score
1,121
Location
Central Upstate New York
I think that no matter what you are feeding - an animal has to have a large capacity in order to consume enough feed. I don't really think the "gutless wonders" will go very far in a feed conversion test.
So, in my mind, phenotypically, you need a cow/bull/steer with lots of internal measurement.
 
OP
B

BARNSCOOP

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
336
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeastern,TN. USA
Alacattleman thanks for the link. Those are some very informative videos! Now after the studies are all done maybe we will see how these cows' calves with good RFI do with WW and YW. Of course it doesn't touch on Phenotype......yet.

RedBullBreeder am I to understand that feed effiency is how well a beeve can MAINTAIN condition on a specific ration and feed conversion is how well a beeve GAINS on a specific ration? If so, it is feed conversion I am interested in. My goal is to be able to LOOK at a beeve or breed type and tell if he/she will convert feed well.

Jeanne, Thank you. Your post is going in the direction I was looking for.

Anyone, Anyone else?.......Surely thats not all the posts on this subject?
 

cmf1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Louisiana
I agree they are two different animals. (pun intended)
Feed conversion is nothing more than being able to convert feed to energy.
Feed efficiency is converting less feed to the more energy.
ie: one cow takes 15 pounds of feed to add one pound of animal
another cow takes 8 pounds of feed to add one pound of animal

What I'm looking for now are animals that can convert grass to energy while maitaining good condition.

I want to buy as little grain as possible from here on out. Too many stock market weasels in charge of the fluctuating prices. Grass price is easier for me to control.

While I am achieving that, I want to pay attention to which animals seem to do that most efficiently. I've heard that ultrasound can give RFI indications but I'm just getting started down this path so I'm not totaly sure how to decide the more efficient converters as yet.
But from what I understand and what I myself have seen, I believe that you can choose particular feed conversion phenotypically.
I'm willing to try because the upside looks much more profitable than grain and salebarns.
The downside would be grain and salebarns, what I've been doing anyway.
 
OP
B

BARNSCOOP

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
336
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeastern,TN. USA
cmf1,

Your interested in making the most of your solar panals.. (pastures). I am as well but I do grain finish (two-three months) my calves.
So, I would like to have knowledge of breeds or phenotypes that make the most of both. Would you care to share the breeds or phenotypes you are looking at? PM me if you would rather share privately.

Crap...I realized that since my surgery 6 yrs ago my darn feed conversion is high. Doesn't take much food for me to gain a pound! HA!
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
9
Location
MO Ozarks
cmf1":2jfl4wnw said:
I agree they are two different animals. (pun intended)
Feed conversion is nothing more than being able to convert feed to energy.
Feed efficiency is converting less feed to the more energy.
ie: one cow takes 15 pounds of feed to add one pound of animal
another cow takes 8 pounds of feed to add one pound of animal

What I'm looking for now are animals that can convert grass to energy while maitaining good condition.

I want to buy as little grain as possible from here on out. Too many stock market weasels in charge of the fluctuating prices. Grass price is easier for me to control.

While I am achieving that, I want to pay attention to which animals seem to do that most efficiently. I've heard that ultrasound can give RFI indications but I'm just getting started down this path so I'm not totaly sure how to decide the more efficient converters as yet.
But from what I understand and what I myself have seen, I believe that you can choose particular feed conversion phenotypically.
I'm willing to try because the upside looks much more profitable than grain and salebarns.
The downside would be grain and salebarns, what I've been doing anyway.

We've slected over the years for replacement heifers that look good at weaning. Those that really seem to blossom and shine after graining during the weaning process go to the feedlot. With very few exceptions we've managed to build up to easy keeping (maybe to easy) that will fatten on toxic fescue. Those that can;t gain back their weight after there calves are weaned don;t stay and neither do their daughters.
 

novatech

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
4,830
Reaction score
2
Location
Brenham, Texas
cmf1":rv74apkk said:
Nova.
You have my interest up.
Do your long ears and humps convert grass, grain or both. And how do you define good conversion.
I've got some tigerstripes that are hit and miss with conversion but make some of the best babies around.
Brahman and Hereford are both known for their efficiency. This may be true as a general rule but as with any breed you have to be selective. I personally like to see cattle with heavy calves that still maintain their body condition. When you have weather conditions as we have now severe drought, cattle must be able to hustle what ever low quality forage that is available. I have found that these same cattle raise calves that do well when fed. My average is 2.83lbs. per day weaning weight. I cannot give you any figures on the calves in the feed lot but the buyers say they do well.
Personally I have seen no proof that cattle that do well on grass may not do well on feed. I have found the opposite to be true. After all it is only a matter of the animal converting over to the proper microbes in the rumen system for what ever you are putting in their belly.
As far as phenotype, I like a cow with good capacity, conformation, and longevity. The cow should wean a calf 1/2 her body weight while maintaining her own condition. I do not like a cow that produces to much milk. Calves she produces should do their own hustling not depending solely on momma for nourishment.
A very good example of this would be the cattle Knersie raises. The cattle I have seen (pics) coming off the veld (desert) are very impressive. These cattle, in my book, are very efficient cattle and would be an indicator that they would also be good converters of forage or feed.
To me, with the adverse weather conditions we are having, this is the very best time to buy cows. This is when you can select for the easy keepers. The most efficient cattle will stand out. It is also the time to cull the less efficient cows within your herd.
I am sorry about not answering your question directly about feed conversion but with a cow calf operation that is to much a single trait selection.
I would like to add that the fact that you have cows that are hit and miss with feed conversion but raise great calves may just be because you have a good bull. Just a thought.
 

Latest posts

Top