Effects of restricted feeding of growing steers on performance, carcass characteristics, and composition
Murphy, T.A.; Loerch, S.C.
Journal of Animal Science 72(9): 2497-2507
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812 PMID: 8002469 DOI: 10.2527/1994.7292497x
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of restricted feeding on performance, carcass characteristics, and composition. In Trial 1, 36 individually penned steer calves (280 +/- 13 kg BW) were fed all-concentrate diets at intake levels of ad libitum and 90 and 80% of ad libitum. Trial 2 used 36 individually penned steer calves (298 +/- 14 kg BW) fed corn silage-based growing diets for 84 d followed by 91% concentrate finishing diets. Intakes were as described for Trial 1. Compared with steers with ad libitum intake, ADG was reduced (P < .005) .15 and .25 kg for steers fed 90 and 80% of ad libitum intake, respectively, in Trial 1. In Trial 2, growing phase ADG was reduced (P < .005) .15 and .24 kg for the 90 and 80% of ad libitum feed intake, respectively. Finishing phase ADG was reduced (P < .005) .12 and .21 kg for the 90 and 80% of ad libitum intake, respectively. Feed efficiency was not affected by intake when all-concentrate diets were fed in Trial 1, or when a corn silage-based diet was fed in the growing phase of Trial 2. During the finishing phase of Trial 2, feed efficiency was increased when intake was restricted. Carcass quality grade and 12th rib backfat were reduced (P < .04) with decreases in daily feed intake when all-concentrate diets were fed. However, no effect on carcass characteristics was observed in Trial 2. Liver and heart weights were not affected by daily feed intake. Serum triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations tended (P = .11) to decrease for cattle receiving restricted intakes of all-concentrate diets and were decreased (P < .04) with intake restriction in Trial 2. Carcass fat content was reduced (P < .02), whereas carcass protein and water were increased (P < .06) with reductions in daily feed intake in both trials. We concluded that restrictedly feeding growing-finishing steer calves does not decrease feed efficiency and actually may improve feed efficiency. Restrictedly fed steers had reduced maintenance requirements, and lean tissue accretion represented a greater percentage of their total gain.