2015-114: Evaluating Core Body Temperature as an Indicator of Feed Efficiency Profile and Nutrient Status of Beef Cattle Fed Forage Diets
Researcher: Bart Lardner
A great amount of research has been conducted to allow producers to benefit from Residual Feed Intake (RFI). The measure, which allows producers to choose cows and bulls that can gain more weight per pound consumed, is challenging to undertake as it is costly to measure feed intake, and pasture intake has been out-of-reach.
This project hopes to provide a more effective and efficient measure to determine feed efficiency: core body temperature.
While previous research projects studying body temperature and its relation to residual feed intake were unsuccessful, there was speculation that including the rumen temperature or rectal temperature would control for varying climate conditions. These two temperatures, along with lying behavior, increased RFI prediction.
These preliminary study results therefore suggest that core body temperature (i.e., rumen temperature) can be used as an indirect method to identify feed efficient animals in forage-based systems.
More information can be found here: https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/livestock/research-looks-at-affordable-ways-to-track-feed-efficiency-in-beef-cattle/