Groundbreaking Research Investigating the Impact of Water & Feed Efficiency for Cattle 

Vytelle is a global precision livestock company reshaping how cattle producers worldwide optimize their herd. With its headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas in the heart of the animal health corridor, Vytelle is quickly building partnerships across the beef and dairy value chain and operates in 23 countries. With an integrated technology platform, Vytelle allows producers to identify elite genetics through its individual phenotyping technology, Vytelle SENSE, and multiply them faster using Vytelle’s hormone free modern in vitro fertilization (IVF) reproduction technology, Vytelle ADVANCE, to make faster genetic progress. 

Selecting the right genetics has a compounding and lasting impact on the sustainability and viability of beef and dairy production, allowing better cattle to be produced with less input. As concerns about water availability, quality, use and accessibility intensify, the livestock industry, specifically the beef and dairy sectors, are under increased pressure to adopt more sustainable production practices. Methods that not only optimize water usage but also improve the growth and feed efficiency of cattle.  

Vytelle is taking a leadership role in measuring and understanding cattle water efficiency through collaborative groundbreaking research. In an ongoing study conducted by Dinesh Thekkoot, PhD, Vytelle Senior Quantitative Geneticist, in partnership with West Virginia University, the traits associated with water intake are being evaluated to understand the potential for genetic improvement. 

This study aims to assess the genetic parameters of traits related to water efficiency, feed efficiency, and growth in beef cattle. Data from 916 bulls and heifers of six breeds were collected, and various phenotypes were analyzed, including average daily water intake, residual water intake, average daily dry matter intake, residual feed intake, and average daily gain.  

The early results indicate that selecting for improved water efficiency in beef cattle could reduce daily water consumption without negatively affecting feed efficiency, although there might be a slight impact on growth. Overall, these findings suggest that genetic improvement in traits associated with water intake and feed efficiency in beef cattle are possible.  To read more about the study, visit: 

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