Location: Forage and Livestock Production ResearchTitle: Stocker and feedlot performance of beef heifers sired by Braunvieh and Wagyu bulls from Angus-, Brahman-, Senepol- and Tuli-sired dams Author
Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2009
Publication Date: 11/30/2009
Citation: Phillips, W.A., Holloway, J.W., Warrington, B., Venuto, B.C. 2009. Stocker and feedlot performance of beef heifers sired by Braunvieh and Wagyu bulls from Angus-, Brahman-, Senepol- and Tuli-sired dams. Professional Animal Scientist. 25:809-814. Interpretive Summary: Female beef calves not retained within the cow-calf enterprise as reproductive females are sold and moved through the same production phases as male calves. Female beef calves can be purchased at a lower price than male calves, but female calves have more post-weaning marketing opportunities. The objective of this study was to compare the stocker and feedlot performance of beef heifers from cows of different and unique breed combinations developed for increased production efficiency in hot arid environments. Beef heifers from Senepol- and Tuli-sired dams were compared to heifers from Brahman- and Angus-sired dams. During the winter, daily body weight gains were great enough for the all heifer breed types to be heavy enough in the spring to be exposed to bulls and sold as replacement heifers. Producers could retain ownership of heifer calves not sold as replacement females and, by using a high stocking rate on warm-season grasses followed by ad libitum access to a high energy diet, produce a finished carcass. Heifers from Tuli x Angus dams were as productive as heifers from Brahman x Angus dams as stockers, but had increased carcass quality characteristics. Replacing Brahman x Angus dams with Tuli x Angus dams would not decrease post-weaning heifer performance, but would improve carcass characteristics.
Technical Abstract: Female beef calves not retained within the cow-calf enterprise are sold and moved through the same production phases as male calves to produce finished beef. Female beef calves can be purchased at a lower price and have more post-weaning marketing opportunities than male calves. The objective of this study was to compare the stocker and feedlot performance of beef heifers from Senepol- and Tuli-sired dams to Brahman- and Angus-sired dams. Dams were Angus x Angus (AA), Brahman x Angus (BA), Senepol x Angus (SA) and Tuli x Angus (TA). Calves were sired by Braunvieh (yr 1) and Wagyu (yr 2) bulls. Calves were born in the spring and reared on mixed brush rangeland in southwestern Texas. Calves were weaned in the fall and shipped to Oklahoma for growth and finishing. Data were analyzed as a randomized complete block design using the General Linear Model procedure. Year was confounded with calf breed of sire and was considered fixed. Heifer calves from BA cows had greater (P < 0.05) BW at arrival, but gained BW at a slower (P < 0.05) rate during the winter than heifer calves from AA cows. Heifer calves from SA and TA cows were intermediate to the other two breed groups in arrival BW and rate of BW gain. Final BW at the end of the 166-d stocker phase were not different (P = 0.17) among four dam breed groups. At the end of the winter grazing period (average calendar date March 20) mean BW within each breed group was greater than 330 kg, at these weights heifers were heavy enough to be exposed to bulls to create bred-heifers to be sold later as replacement females. Hot carcass weight, dressing percent, longissimus muscle area, fat thickness and yield grade were not different (P > 0.10) among the four dam breeds for heifers finished on pasture. However, heifers from AA and TA cows had greater (P < 0.05) marbling scores and quality grades than heifers from BA and SA dams. Heifer calves provide more post-weaning marketing opportunities than male calves. When purchased in the fall to graze winter wheat pasture, heifer calves gain enough BW to be bred in March and marketed as replacement females. Heifer calves not sold as replacement females can be retained on the farm and finished on pasture using a combination of intensive early stocking management and ad libitum access to a high energy diet.