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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Immunity, Health, and Well-Being in Cattle and Swine

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: Relationship between cattle temperament as determined by exit velocity carcass merit in beef cattle

Authors
item Schmidt, Ty -
item DAILEY, JEFFERY
item Waggoner, Justin -
item Voyles, Austin -
item Alexander, Clint -
item Buntyn, Joe -
item Domenech, Katherine -
item Schneider, Matt -
item CARROLL, JEFFERY

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The objective of this trial was to use cattle temperament, as determined by exit velocity only, as a means to evaluate the impact of temperament on carcass merit and the possible utilization of exit velocity alone as a sorting tool within the feedlot. At the time of processing, exit velocity and body weight were recorded on 20 pens of cattle (2,877 head) at a commercial feedlot. Infrared sensors affixed to the alleyway at a distance of 2.75 meters were used to remotely trigger the start and stop of a timing system. Exit velocity (meters/second) was recorded and cattle were placed into pens for the duration of the feeding period. Cattle were classified as temperamental (TEMP) and non-temperamental (NTEMP) based upon exit velocity. Twenty percent of each pen was classified as TEMP based the fastest exit velocity; the remaining 80% was classified as NTEMP. At the conclusion of the feeding period, cattle were transported to a commercial abattoir and harvested. Data collected included: hot carcass weight, ribeye area, back fat, kidney-pelvic-heart fat, and marbling scores. At the time of processing, body weight was greater (P=<0.001) for NTEMP cattle compared to TEMP (326+1.43 kilograms vs. 319+2.88 kilograms). At harvest, NTEMP cattle had greater hot carcass weight (P=<0.001; 370+1.70 kilograms vs. 365+3.43 kilograms), back fat (P=<0.001; 1.30+0.004 centimeters vs. 1.22+0.008 centimeters), and yield grade (P=<0.001; 2.35+0.02 vs. 2.15+0.04) when compared to TEMP cattle. Temperamental cattle had larger (P=0.03) ribeye area compared to NTEMP (101+0.04 centimeters^2 vs. 99+0.08 centimeters^2). Overall, 81.5% of TEMP cattle had a yield grade <2 compared to 77% for NTEMP cattle. Marbling scores were greater (P=0.003) for NTEMP cattle compared to TEMP (417+1.65 vs. 406+3.34). Percent of carcasses grading USDA Standard were 3.79% for TEMP compared to 1.52% for NTEMP cattle and percentage of NTEMP carcasses receiving a quality grade of Choice was 54.34% compared to 49.1% for TEMP cattle. The results of this trial indicate that temperamental cattle produce lighter weight carcasses with decreased USDA yield grade and decreased marbling. Based upon these results, the use of exit velocity as an indicator of temperament may be a feasible tool for sorting cattle upon arrival at the feedlot.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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