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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403501

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, ERIN - 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: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: 11/1/2023
Citation: Gubbels, E.R., Dornbach, C.W., Rusche, W.C., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Hales, K.E., Broadway, P.R., Smith, Z.K. 2023. Evaluation of Post-Transit Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Feedlot Heifers Sourced and Finished in Different Regions of the U.S. Journal of Animal Science Supplement.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective was to evaluate growth performance and carcass traits following transit of feedlot heifers sourced and finished in different geographical regions in the U.S. Yearling heifers [n=190; initial body weight (BW) 483 and 425 kg 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 and finished in SD (SD-SD), sourced from SD and finished in TX (SD-TX), sourced from TX and finished in SD (TX-SD), and sourced from TX and finished in TX (TX-TX). Heifers were weighed on d -1, 3, 15, 28, 56, 78 (TX-TX and SD-TX) and 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 (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 and 3 for indications of bovine respiratory disease symptoms. The GLIMMIX procedure of SAS was used to analyze growth performance and carcass measures with fixed effects of origin and finishing state. The MIXED procedure was used for CAS and temperature data with the same fixed effects and time as a repeated measure. Transported heifers had reduced 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 and 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 (45 kg 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.