U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1985) No. 2: 29-30


Relative differences in expected performance for breed crosses of cattle are provided elsewhere in this report; see "Characterization of Breeds Representing Diverse Biological Types." This information may be utilized by beef cattle producers to identify breed types for possible use in their beef cattle enterprises. In conjunction with information descriptive of production characteristics, variation in energy requirements among the breed types needs to be considered. Using general relationships between production potential and energy requirements, producers may identify the beef cattle breeds that would perform optimally in their respective production environments.

Energy (either harvested by the animal or provided via supplementation) is used by animals to sustain life of the individual (maintenance) and for product formation (growth, gestation, and lactation). The energy available for metabolism by animals is referred to as metabolizable energy (ME). The information presented within this report demonstrates variation among breed crosses in energy requirements for animal production and documents variation in energy requirements for maintenance during specified periods of production.