Extension Number

ASL R1539


Feedlot Nutrition and Growth and Management

Publication Date



Steers were sorted into four groups based on hip height and fat cover at the start of the finishing period. Each group of sorted steers was fed diets containing 0.59 or 0.64 Mcal NEg per lb. of diet dry matter. Steers with less initial fat cover (0.08 in.) compared with those with more (0.17) had less carcass fat cover 103 days later. The steers with less fat cover accumulated fat at a faster rate, but this was not apparent prior to 80 days. Accretion of fat was best predicted by an exponential growth equation, and was not affected by the two concentrations of energy fed in this study. Steers with greater initial height accumulated fat cover at a slower rate than shorter steers. This difference was interpreted to mean that large-frame steers accumulate subcutaneous fat at a slower rate than medium-frame steers. Increase in area of the ribeye was best described by a linear equation. Initial fat cover, hip height, and concentrations of energy in the diet did not affect rate of growth of this muscle. Predicting carcass fat cover from the initial ultrasound measurement of fat thickness found 46 of the 51 carcasses with less than 0.4 in. of fat cover. Twelve carcasses predicted to have less than 0.4 in. of fat cover had more than 0.4 in. Five carcasses predicted to have more than 0.4 in. actually had less than that. Accurate initial measurements of initial fat thickness with ultrasound might be a useful measurement to sort cattle for specific marketing grids.

Copyright Owner

Iowa State University



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