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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.24.0074    [Accepted] Published online April 25, 2024.
Repeatability of feed efficiency and its relationship with carcass traits in Hanwoo steers during their entire growing and fattening period
Hyunjin Cho1  , Kyewon Kang1  , Hamin Kang1  , Seoyoung Jeon1  , Mingyung Lee1  , Eunkyu Park2  , Seokman Hong2  , Seongwon Seo1,* 
1Division of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, 34134, Korea
2Woosung Feed Co., Ltd., Daejeon, Korea
Correspondence:  Seongwon Seo, Tel: +82-42-821-5787, Fax: +82-42-826-2766, Email: swseo@cnu.kr
Received: 6 February 2024   • Revised: 4 March 2024   • Accepted: 5 March 2024
This study investigated the repeatability of feed efficiency and its association with carcass traits in Hanwoo steers during the entire growing and fattening periods.
The growth and intake of thirty-six Hanwoo steers (259 ± 19.7 kg; nine months) were monitored throughout five periods, including two growing periods (GP) and three fattening periods (FP). The steers were fed two types of concentrate mixes with varying nutrient compositions until they reached a target weight of 800 kg for slaughter. For each period, steers were categorized into three classes based on their feed efficiency rankings using residual feed intake (RFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). Feed efficiency repeatability was assessed using the Spearman correlation coefficient, decomposition of random errors, and the Theil segregation index (TSI). The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to examine the relationship between feed efficiency and carcass traits.
The results demonstrated a significant and high correlation with RFI, but not FCR, during the growing or fattening stages (r > 0.5; P < 0.01). When steers were classified according to their feed efficiency rankings, 58% of the animals in the high RFI class (low efficient) initially (GP 1) remained in the same class by the last period (FP 3), whereas steers were randomly distributed based on FCR. The repeatability, assessed by the decomposition of random errors, was higher for RFI (0.61) than for FCR (0.15). The TSI also indicated that RFI rankings, rather than FCR rankings, are more likely to be maintained. Moreover, a weak association was observed between feed efficiency and carcass traits.
In conclusion, RFI repeatability throughout the growing and fattening periods surpassed that of the FCR, with steers classified as high RFI during the GP more likely to remain in the same class during the FP. Feed efficiency was weakly correlated with carcass traits.
Keywords: Feed Conversion Ratio; Feed Efficiency; Hanwoo; Residual Feed Intake

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