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Interpretive Summary: Genetic parameters for mouth size and their influence on growth traits in pasture-raised Nelore cattle

By: Pablo Dominguez-Castaño, Amanda Marchi Maiorano, Jose Eduardo Silva Lopes, Matheus Henrique Vargas de Oliveira, Andre Michel Castilhos, Josineudson Augusto Ii Vasconcelos Silva

Evaluating traits that allow breeders to increase production efficiency in beef production systems is important. The mouth size (MS) score is a trait easily measured and implemented by breeders. Our results showed that MS in Nelore cattle is a heritable trait, and it is favorably associated with growth traits, indicating that animals with larger mouth are heavier at weaning and gain more weight after weaning on pasture. MS score should be further explored to evaluate its complexity and inclusion in breeding programs incorporating data collected from cattle raised under pasture conditions.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.