Feed Efficient Genetics
Ever wanted to select your dairy cows to be better feed converters? Less food, more profitability.
With Ecofeed you can do just that. Ecofeed is an index that measures feed conversion, which permit genetic gains for the next generation. Studies have shown that high Ecofeed heifers consume up to 24% less feed per day (4.7 kg/day).
Ecofeed animals use fewer feed resources and convert feed more efficiently, creating less waste, less manure and a smaller carbon footprint.
Ecofeed is the only direct index measuring feed conversion which will permit genetic gains for the next generation. With progeny of bulls with a score of 100 and above predicted to have improved Feed efficiency, and subsequently a lower carbon footprint, and lower CO2 emissions.
With feed costs comprising of up to 50% of the total costs on a dairy farm, Ecofeed is a worthy investment.
Sustainability with less COST and more sense
To create a sustainable future, the dairy industry must work to increase production with fewer inputs, while simultaneously working to reduce their environmental impact. Feed represents the largest variable input cost of production, accounting for up to 50% of total production costs, and is related to enteric methane emissions. This means that the greatest potential to improve profitability and environmental sustainability is to improve the ability of dairy cattle to efficiently convert feed into consumer products.
How do we define Feed Conversion Efficiency?
The Ecofeed programme utilises a measure of Feed Conversion Efficiency known as Residual Feed Index (RFI). Residual Feed Index measures the Expected Feed Intake against the Actual
Feed Intake which gives us the RFI used to calculate Ecofeed. A lower RFI = more feed efficient.
What is it?
Ecofeed is a feed conversion index based on information from over 5000 female progeny born from over 700 sires. Animals are tested based on body size and performance. The RFI value calculated for each female is the difference between actual and expected feed intake (based on body size and performance). A bull’s Ecofeed value is determined from the growing heifer RFI values of his daughters. The average, or base, of the population is 100, with each 10 points above 100 equating to 0.45kg less feed (as fed) that the bull’s progeny can expect to consume each day
whilst maintaining production.
When selecting for high Ecofeed heifers in combination with other economically important traits, you can expect to save on feed costs while maintaining body weight and average daily gain.
Ecofeed values are presented as a Breeding Value (eg 110). To determine the PTA (predicted transmitting ability) halve the RFI of the female (eg an animal who’s RFI is 0.90kg would have a PTA of 0.45kg).
All females can receive an Ecofeed value when genomically tested with Cogent PrecisionDNA and Genetic Visions
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