Individual Animal Feed Efficiency Testing
Each bull and heifer complete an individual animal feed efficiency trial annually.
Defining residual feed intake
Net feed efficiency or net feed intake (NFI) or residual feed intake (RFI) is defined as the difference between an animal’s actual feed intake and its expected feed requirements for maintenance and growth. Thus, it is the variation in feed intake that remains after the requirements for maintenance and growth have been removed. Like a golf score, a lower value is better and indicates an efficient animal.
Considerable variation exists between individual animals within breeds or genetic strains in RFI. This infers that substantial progress can be made in RFI or feed efficiency since the heritability of the trait is approximately 40%.
Tangle Ridge Ranch
The main purpose of this trial is to identify feed efficient breeding cattle and breeding bulls.
Ultimately, we can use this information and superior genetics to also improve the efficiency of the cowherd and feeder cattle in order to reduce unit costs of production.
Each pen is fitted with a GrowSafe System for automatically monitoring individual animal feed intake whenever it comes and goes from the feeder via an ear tag button.
Tangle Ridge Ranch bulls
R&R Acres is the only bull supplier in Canada that has tested their entire bull calf crops for Net Feed Efficiency for the last 19 years in a row. Tangle Ridge Ranch purchased their operation in 2021.
With 19 years of data compiled from our entire bull calf crops and 15 years of heifer crops, we have identified the superior individuals, sire groups and dams. There is a difference!
Feed efficiency is really a cow herd trait… not just a feedlot trait.