Skip to main content


Recording strategies and selection potential of feed intake measured using the X-ray method in rainbow trout

Article metrics


This study examines the way long-term feed intake should be recorded accurately for selective breeding purposes, and estimates selection potential in feed intake using the X-ray method to record individual daily feed intake in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The analysis showed that the point estimates of daily feed intake displayed low repeatabilities (r = 0.09–0.32). This indicates that a minimum of three repeated records were needed to accurately record average feed intake at a fixed age. To effectively breed for feed intake over the whole growing period, it is necessary to determine average feed intake at different ages, since there were only moderate phenotypic and genetic correlations between average daily feed intake recorded at 140 g, 750 g and 2000 g wet mass. Heritability for average daily feed intake was low (average h2 = 0.10), indicating that modest genetic changes can be obtained in response to selection. It was concluded that selection to genetically change long-term feed intake can be successful, yet repeated observations at several life stages are needed to ensure the accuracy of feed intake estimates and the efficiency of selection.

(To access the full article, please see PDF)

Author information

Correspondence to Antti Kause.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • feed efficiency
  • X-radiography
  • heritability
  • repeatability
  • salmonids