Feed intake records from American Hereford Association research projects and breeder data collection have been analyzed in a genetic evaluation to predict Dry Matter Intake (DMI) EPDs. Reported in pounds of feed consumed per day, this EPD characterizes genetics for intake, with a lower numeric value being associated with less feed consumed on a dry matter basis.
The DMI EPDs are generated from a multi-trait animal model genetic evaluation for 15,027 animals. Traits represented in addition to edited 3,022 individual standardized feed intake records include contemporary weaning and yearling growth measures. Weaning weights are included for weaning contemporaries to the intake calves to account for selection bias. Feed intake heritability is .40, indicating that genetic selection for this trait can be effective.
The following example depicts a comparison between two sires for their DMI EPDs. Note that a lower value is associated with genetic potential for less intake in future progeny. As with other EPDs, the difference between individuals is the best approach in understanding the DMI EPDs. In this example, the progeny of Sire A are expected to consume 0.75 pounds less feed per day compared with Sire B’s progeny. This assumes that all progeny are exposed to the same postweaning feeding management and environment. Care should be taken in the interpretation and application of DMI EPDs, with the best approach being the future use of these genetic values in AHA selection indexes.
Example DMI EPD (lb per day)
Sire A: DMI EPD = -0.50 lb/d
Sire B: DMI EPD = +0.25 lb/d
Difference -0.75 lb/d
Prototype Evaluation Results
The DMI EPD listing provided in the following download contains sires with a minimum of five intake progeny in the prototype genetic evaluation. The average EPD for these sires was +0.12 lb/d with a range between -2.06 and +1.60 lb/d. Future value of the DMI EPD will be most beneficial when the EPDs are incorporated into the AHA selection indexes.