The impact of selection using residual average daily gain and marbling EPDs on growth performance and carcass traits in Angus cattle
Wells, Johnathan Bowers
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One hundred thirteen Angus steers and heifers were used to evaluate the effects of selection using residual average daily gain (RADG) and marbling (MARB) EPDs on growth performance, carcass composition, and reproductive performance. Marbling, alone, did not affect the variables measured. High RADG steers tended to have lower residual feed intake, yet carcass quality and composition were not greatly affected. Thus, cattle could be more efficient without compromising carcass characteristics. Selecting for RADG appears to affect 12th rib fat and age at puberty in heifers. Increased fat deposition in the low RADG heifers resulted in more heifers reaching puberty earlier in life and a higher AI conception rate than high RADG heifers. Further research is needed to fully explain the potential impact of selection for growth efficiency on the beef production system.