Effects of feed intake restriction on performance and carcass characteristics of finishing beef steers

Drager, C.D.; Brown, M.S.; Jeter, M.B.; Dew, P.F.

Professional Animal Scientist 20(3): 255-261

2004


ISSN/ISBN: 1525-318X
DOI: 10.15232/s1080-7446(15)31308-5
Accession: 004133831

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Abstract
Crossbred steers (n=264, 311+or-1.6 kg initial BW) were blocked by BW, randomly assigned to one of four treatments (28 pens, 7 pens per treatment), and fed a common 90% concentrate diet to determine the effects of the severity of caloric restriction on animal performance and carcass characteristics. Treatments were (1) ad libitum access to feed for 151 d (AL100); (2) 75% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, 95% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, and ad libitum access to feed for 21 d (AL85); (3) 80% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, 100% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, and ad libitum access to feed for 21 d (AL90); and (4) 85% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, 105% of DMI by AL100 for 65 d, and ad libitum access to feed for 21 d (AL95). Feed was offered for AL85, AL90, and AL95 based on DMI by AL100 the previous week. All steers were fed a similar quantity of DM for 4 d prior to initial, interim, and final BW determinations to minimize gastrointestinal fill differences. Overall DMI was greater (P<0.01) for AL100 than for the average of the remaining treatments and decreased linearly (P<0.01) among AL95, AL90, and AL85. Overall ADG (carcass-adjusted) was less (P<0.01) for AL85, AL90, and AL95 than for AL100, whereas overall ADG:DMI (carcass-adjusted) did not differ (P>0.10) between AL100 and the average of the remaining treatments. Overall ADG and ADG:DMI (carcass-adjusted) responded quadratically (P<0.05) with increasing DMI restriction. Hot carcass weight, longissimus area, and kidney, pelvic, and heart fat percentage were greater (P<0.05) for AL100 than for the remaining treatments and responded quadratically (P<0.10) among AL85, AL90, and AL95. Marbling score was greater (P<0.10) for AL100 than for the average of the remaining treatments, and the number of carcasses grading Prime+Choice tended to be higher (P<0.15) for AL100 and AL95. Restricting feed intake of finishing yearling steers to an average of 85 to 95% of ad libitum for 130 d of a 151-d feeding period generally resulted in slower ADG, lesser marbling scores, and carcasses that were lighter and leaner compared with yearling steers allowed ad libitum to feed and harvested after an equal number of days on feed.