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Title: Effect of forage species during finishing on growth rate, final weight and carcass parameters from pasture finished cattle

Author
item Neel, James - Jim
item Fontenot, Joseph
item Clapham, William
item Duckett, Susan
item Felton, Eugene E
item Swecker, Jr., William

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2008
Publication Date: 7/11/2008
Citation: Neel, J.P., Fontenot, J.P., Clapham, W.M., Duckett, S.K., Felton, E.D., Swecker, Jr., W.S. 2008. Effect of forage species during finishing on growth rate, final weight and carcass parameters from pasture finished cattle. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 86(2):415.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In 2005 and 2006, angus-crossbred steers (n = 72) were used to compare growth rate, final weight and carcass parameters from pasture-finished cattle grazing cool-season mixed (MP), alfalfa (AL), or pearl millet (PM) pastures during the final 44 d of finishing. Steers were harvested on the same dates, across treatments, at a commercial meat plant. Forage species did not influence final weight (FW), marbling score (MS), quality grade (QG), rib fat (RF), kidney, pelvic and heart fat (KPH) or yield grade (YG). Forage species influenced (P < 0.05) ribeye area (REA) with PM being greater (P < 0.05) than MP and AL. There was a trend (P = 0.06) for forage species to impact carcass weight (CW) with PM being greater (P < 0.05) than MP and tending (P = 0.06) to be greater than AL. Year influenced REA and KPH with REA being greater (P < 0.05) in 2006 and KPH being higher (P < 0.05) in 2005. The interaction between finishing treatment and year was significant (P < 0.05) for finishing period ADG (ADG) and dressing percentage (DP). Year did not influence ADG for MP or PM while ADG was greater (P < 0.001) in 2005 than 2006 for AL. Pearl millet produced greater (P < 0.05) ADG than MP. In 2005, AL had equivalent ADG to PM but lower (P < 0.05) ADG than PM and MP in 2006. Year influenced (P < 0.05) DP in AL and PM, being greater in 2006 than 2005. Dressing percentage was greater (P < 0.05) for AL and PM than MP in 2006. Pearl millet and MP produced consistent ADG across years. Animal performance was improved with PM versus MP during both years and was greater than AL in 2006.