Feed intake genetic evaluation: progress and an index for saved feed cost
Improving feed efficiency in dairy cows gets worldwide more and more interest. Feed is the main part in the variable cost of producing milk. At the same time reduction of feed intake results in a reduction of the production of greenhouse gases and therefore has a positive effect on the environment. In the Netherlands and Flanders a genetic evaluation for dry matter intake was developed and currently includes observations on 5600 cows. To facilitate the selection for efficient cows, the Saved Feed Cost for Maintenance index (FSCM) was developed, which is also part of the total merit index NVI. The genetic trend of dry matter intake shows an increase of dry matter intake per day. FSCM has a negative trend, related to an increase of body size over the years. Measuring dry matter intake and adding FSCM to the breeding goal, results in a more efficient cow.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).