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Article . 2023 . Peer-reviewed
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Animal
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Opportunities and limits of commercial farm data to study the genetic determinism of feed efficiency throughout lactation in dairy sheep

Authors: Machefert, C.; Robert-Granié, C.; Lagriffoul, G.; Parisot, S.; Allain, C.; Portes, D.; Astruc, J.M; +2 Authors

Opportunities and limits of commercial farm data to study the genetic determinism of feed efficiency throughout lactation in dairy sheep

Abstract

The collective economic and environmental interest of the whole dairy sheep sector is to reduce feedcosts and the negative impact of milk production on the environment. Thus, this study focused on thecharacterisation and genetic selection potential of feed efficiency in the Lacaune breed. Estimates for feedefficiency in dairy ewes are limited, mainly due to a lack of individual feed intake measurements in thesheepfold or in the pasture. We estimated the genetic parameters for two approximated (not entirelybased on individual data) feed efficiency traits (lactation feed conversion ratio (LFCR) and residual energyintake (REI)) and daily milk yield (DMY) at different stages of lactation and throughout lactation. Theaccuracy of the efficiency traits was first evaluated on samples from Lacaune dairy ewes that were mon-itored individually, especially for their feed intake. Then, feed efficiency estimation methods were appliedon eight commercial farms corresponding to 4 680 Lacaune dairy ewes over two milk lactations (30 854records). Animals were collectively (for a large part of feed intake) or individually (for milk performanceand dynamics of body fat reserves) monitored at different lactation stages. The heritabilities of LFCR andREI were estimated over lactations at 0.10 ± 0.01 and 0.11 ± 0.01, respectively. High genetic correlationswere observed between the two efficiency traits and milk production traits, with a genetic correlationbetween LFCR and DMY of 0.74 ± 0.04 and between REI and DMY of 0.79 ± 0.04. A strong influenceof environmental factors such as farm, year of milk production and lactation stage affected the geneticlink between REI and milk production traits. Efficiency values observed in early lactation when animalswere bred in the sheepfold were less genetically correlated with values obtained later in lactation whenanimals were grass-fed. However, individual characterisation of feed efficiency remains difficult due tothe collective feeding context in dairy ewe farms.

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France
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Keywords

Sheep, Farms, [SDV.BA.MVSA]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Animal biology/Veterinary medicine and animal Health, [SDV.BIO]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Biotechnology, Genetic parameter, Feed efficiency, [SDV]Life Sciences [q-bio], [SDV.SA.AEP]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Agricultural sciences/Agriculture, economy and politics, Lacaune dairy ewes, SF1-1100, [INFO.INFO-MO]Computer Science [cs]/Modeling and Simulation, Collective feeding, Animal culture, Genetic Determinism, [SDV.GEN.GA]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Genetics/Animal genetics, Milk, Animals, Lactation, Female, Lactation stage, Animal Science and Zoology, Energy Intake

36 references, page 1 of 4

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    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
1
Average
Average
Average
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