Measuring NFI on an Individual Animal Basis

Calculating net feed intake (NFI) requires measuring both feed intake and body weight gain at the same time. Historically, while it has been possible to measure feed intake on a pen-basis, doing so on the individual animal level was too cumbersome and impractical to be commercially viable. With the introduction of Vytelle’s Beef Genetics Program, the ability to do so is now practical end economical for on-farm testing. Producers can access individual animal data and the analytic tools and the support to select for feed efficiency — arguably the single most valuable trait in beef production. Animal intakes and body weights are recorded with our Feed Intake Nodes and In-Pen Weighing Positions to help you maximize profits, select for low NFI cattle and breed confidently.

The Feed Intake Nodes measure individual feed intake and feed behavior. The In-Pen Weighing Positions in front of the water trough use RFID-enabled metalwork to capture each animal’s identification when it comes to the trough, along with capturing partial body weights for every second it takes a drink. Those measurements are then calculated to provide daily live weights, average daily gains (ADG), growth trends and a host of other parameters. Coupled together, you can utilize data to support your decisions to accurately identify cattle with the highest and lowest NFI values in a shorter time frame than traditional NFI trials. This system allows incredibly accurate feed intake and weight measurement information that can be used to determine the feed efficiency of individual animals.