Effects of feeding vitamin D on feed intake, carcass characteristics, and meat tenderness of beef steers

Karges, K.; Morgan, J.B.; Owens, F.N.; Gill, D.R.

Animal Science Research Report Agricultural Experiment Station, Oklahoma State University ( P-973): 126-133


Accession: 003426318

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Supplemental vitamin D has been shown to increase tenderness in beef cuts when fed to cattle during the final 5 to 10 days before slaughter. This trial was conducted to examine effects of supplemental vitamin D on dry matter intake, carcass traits, and Warner Bratzler Shear (WBS) force values of three different beef muscles: strip loin, top sirloin, and inside round. Treatments included no vitamin D supplementation or 6 x 106 IU (MIU) vitamin D daily for 4 or 6 days pre-slaughter. Utilizing a completely randomized design, 24 steers (1200 lb) were allocated to treatments (8 pens) and fed a 90% concentrate ration twice daily, with vitamin D fed once daily in a pellet as a percentage of the total ration. At slaughter, 3 steaks (1 in thick) were cut from each of the specified muscle groups and aged for 7, 14 and 21 days. Steaks were broiled at 365 degrees F to a final internal temperature of 158 degrees F and shear force values were measured. A significant effect of feeding vitamin D on shear force was detected for strip loin and top sirloin steaks at 14 and 21 days of postmortem aging. Feeding vitamin D longer (6 vs. 4 days) increased tenderness of strip loin steaks aged 7 days and of top sirloin steaks aged 14 days. As a percentage of total steaks, supplementation with vitamin D decreased the percentage of sub-primals that had WBS force of 8.5 lb or greater by 68, 45 and 56% of the controls for strip loin, top sirloin, and inside round steaks, respectively. These data suggest that dietary supplementary vitamin D can improve tenderness of various muscles. However, elevated vitamin D intakes decreased DM intake by 14%.