Academic article

Family differences in feed efficiency in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Kolstad, Kari; Grisdale-Helland, Barbara; Gjerde, Bjarne

Publication details

Journal: Aquaculture, vol. 241, p. 169–177, 2004

Publisher: Elsevier

Issue: 1-4

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0044-8486
Electronic: 1873-5622

Open Access: none


Feed efficiency was recorded during growth in early age in 10 full-sib families of Atlantic salmon from Salmo Breed's breeding population. From the present results it can be concluded that there exists detectable variation between families of Atlantic salmon in feed efficiency, growth, feed intake and energy retention at low live weights (28 g). The effect of family explained 77% of total variation in feed efficiency. Feed efficiency was significantly correlated to growth (0.60) and feed intake (0.45). A significant part of the variation in feed efficiency was caused by variation in nitrogen retention (∼62%), while energy and fat retention had no significant effects. The remaining unexplained variation indicates an advantage by performing direct selection for feed efficiency.

Point estimates of tank effect varied from 3% to 7% of feed efficiency ratio (FER). Replicates may not be necessary if this trait is used as a selection criterion to improve feed efficiency.