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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #402517

Research Project: Environmental and Management Influences on Animal Productivity and Well-Being Phenotypes

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: Evaluation of Post-Transit Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Feedlot Heifers Sourced and Finished in Different Regions of the U.S.

item GUBBELS, E - South Dakota State University
item DORNBACH, COLTEN - Texas Tech University
item RUSCHE, WARREN - South Dakota State University
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item HALES, KRISTIN - Texas Tech University
item Broadway, Paul
item SMITH, ZACHARY - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Proceeding of Plains Nutrition Council Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective was to evaluate growth performance and carcass traits following transit of feedlot heifers sourced and finished in different regions in the U.S. under differing ambient temperatures. Yearling heifers [n=190; initial body weight (BW) 1064 and 938 lbs for SD and TX sourced, respectively] were used in a 2×2 factorial arrangement of origin state (SD vs TX) and finishing state (SD vs TX). Heifers were allotted on d -1 into four treatments: sourced from SD & finished in SD (SD-SD), sourced from SD & finished in TX (SD-TX), sourced from TX & finished in SD (TX-SD), and sourced from TX & finished in TX (TX-TX). Heifers were weighed on d -1, 3, 15, 28, 56, 78 (TX-TX and SD-TX) & 90 (SD-SD and TX-SD). On d 0, SD-TX and TX-SD heifers were shipped to the finishing location and weighed the following morning following (d 1) to determine transportation shrink. To monitor transportation effects vaginal temperature probes were inserted into all SD-TX and TX-SD heifers and a portion of SD-SD and TX-TX heifers on d -1 and removed on d 3. Clinical attitude scores (CAS) were recorded on d -1, 0, 1, 2 & 3 for indications of bovine respiratory disease symptoms. Transported heifers had lower temperatures (P < 0.05) during transit and post-transit compared to non-transported heifers. Temperatures of transported heifers increased (P < 0.05) during loading and unloading. On d 0, 1 & 3 there was a shift in the distribution of heifers that had a CAS score greater than 0 for TX-TX, SD-TX and TX-SD. Cattle endured high ambient temperatures (temperature humidity index value > 75) 54% and 18% of the feeding period for TX and SD finished heifers, respectively. All cumulative growth performance measures and carcass trait interactions were statistically significant (P < 0.05) besides initial BW, percent shrink of transported heifers, average daily gain, dressing percent, ribeye area and liver abscess severity, which were similar (P > 0.30). There was a shift in the distribution (P < 0.05) towards a greater proportion of Yield Grade 1 and Select carcasses for heifers fed in TX compared to those fed in SD, likely due to fewer days on feed. Overall, heifers transported to higher ambient temperatures had reduced dry matter intake, quality grades (QG) and limited growth recovery (100 lb lighter) compared to non-transported heifers. Heifers transported to lower ambient temperatures recovered growth and had improved QG at the same level of rib fat compared to non-transported heifers.