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NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
April 23, 1962
NFES MIMEO REPORT 62-10
FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF BRAHMAN-
EUROPEAN CROSSBRED AND ANGUS CALVES
F. S. Baker, Jr., A. Z. Palmer, and J. W. Carpenter
Four groups of Brahman-European hybrid and two groups of Angus calves
approximately 9 to 10 months of age and weighing from 400 to 650 pounds made very
satisfactory feedlot gains for 161 days. The Charolais-Brahman-British and the
Hereford-Brahman-Angus hybrids gained faster than the other groups.
Because of larger gain, heavier carcass weight, and satisfactory carcass
grades, the 3/8 Brahman 3/8 Charolais 1/4 British calves had the highest return
above costs and were worth more per 100 pounds going into the feedlot. Relatively
small differences existed among the other groups.
Differences in carcass characteristics were small. The Fl Brahman-
Hereford carcasses were apparently slightly leaner while the F1 Brahman-Shorthorn
carcasses had smaller rib eyes and lower estimated cutout. Except for the Charolaie
hybrids which graded higher than in the preceding trial, carcass grades and degree
of marbling were lower than expected.
In 1960-61, three groups of Brahman-European hybrid calves and a control
group of Hereford and Angus calves made very satisfactory gains for 159 days in dry
lot beginning when the calves were approximately 10 months of age and weighing 590
to 650 pounds.2 Feed efficiency and cost of gain did not differ greatly for the
various groups. After conclusion of the trial, it appeared that all groups had
been worth about the same price per 100 pounds when started on feed. Further, a
margin of $3.00 per 100 pounds between feeder and fat cattle prices would have been
necessary for a satisfactory profit. With the exception of Brahman-Charolais-
Hereford calves, the hybrid calves produced carcasses that graded as high as those
of Hereford and Angus control cattle. Carcasses from the Charolais hybrids had
somewhat less marbling. European-Brahman hybrid carcasses had less fat cover,
greater rib eye area, higher percentage of trimmed carcass weight,.gher
estimated yield of closely trimmed boneless cuts than carcasses ~P~r8i and
1Associate Animal Husbandman, North Florida Experiment Stat Quincs &
Associate Meat Scientist,
and Assistant Meat Scientist, Animal Science Dept., Gainesvi ely.
2 NFES Mimeo Rpt. 61-5, 1961.
To obtain further data on the feedlot performance and carcass character-
istics of Brahman-European crossbred and British calves, the trial reported herein
Groups of European-Brahman hybrid calves were obtained shortly after
weaning from Clewiston and Cocoa, Florida. Ten head each of 3/8 Brahman-3/8
Charolais-1/4 British; 1/4 Brahman-1/4 Angus-1/2 Hereford; 1/2 Brahman-1/2 Hereford;
and 1/2 Brahman-1/2 Shorthorn were delivered to the North Florida Experiment Station
on September 8. Two groups of Angus calves of approximately the same age raised in
the Clewiston area were trucked to Quincy at the same time as the hybrids. All
calves were immediately placed in dry lot and given a light teed of grain with
self-fed grass hay for two weeks. After this preliminary period, the cattle were
individually tagged, weighed, and started on trial. Initial weights were early
morning weights at the feedlot with no shrink. The calves were maintained on the
two-week preliminary feed to insure normal fill before starting on trial.
After weighing the calves on test, the feed was gradually increased until
after approximately three weeks each group was consuming all the concentrates it
would clean-up between feedings. Minerals were self-fed throughout the feeding
period, while hay was self-fed for the first half but limited thereafter. Each
steer was given a 24 mg. stilbestrol implant at the beginning of the trial. The
following ration was fed:
Ground snapped corn--full-fed according to appetite.
Citrus molasses--4.0 lbs. per head daily.
41% cottonseed meal--2.5 lbs. per head daily.
Coastal Bermuda grass hay.
Salt and bonemeal--free-choice.
The corn and cottonseed meal were mixed, and citrus molasses was poured
on top of the mixture. Concentrates were fed once daily in the morning. The calves
were confined to dry lot in a well-bedded steer feeding barn with about 60 square
feet of pen space per head.
Final weights were taken after trucking to Quincy in the early morning
and were shrunk 3 percent. The final shrunk weights were used in calculating gains,
carcass yields, and sale prices. As previously stated, starting weights were not
shrunk. This procedure was used to minimize the fill factor in computing gains.
Carcass weights were hot weights less 2 percent. Actual shipping weights
after 96 hours in the cooler were also recorded. Carcasses were graded by a U. S.
grader and assigned to one-third grades by packing house and Experiment Station
workers. Carcasses were ribbed and degree of marbling considered in assigning
cattle to one-third grades. Sale prices were actual prices paid by the packer for
the carcasses (Table 5).
Feed costs were based on local prices at the time the cattle were in the
feedlot (Table 4). The item reported as "other costs" was a charge of $0.10 per
day for labor, pen rent, and other charges.
After 96 hours in the packing house cooler, the carcasses were weighed
and trucked to the Winn-Dixie Grocery Company Warehouse in Jacksonville. Hind-
quarters and forequarters were individually weighed after being trimmed by chain
store personnel. Shank bones, kidney knob, flanks, and collar fat were removed
from hindquarters before weighing. Plates, briskets, and shanks were removed from
Carcass maturity, conformation, degree of marbling and USDA and quality
grade data were recorded. Fat thickness over the rib eye, rib eye area, amount of
kidney and pelvic fat and carcass weight data were used in estimating percentage
of closely trimmed boneless cuts from the round, rump, loin, rib and chuck.
Estimates of cutout were adjusted on the basis of 0.8 for each 1/3 of a quality
grade above or below average good to determine relative carcass values.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
All groups of calves made satisfactory gains, but the Charolais-Brahman-
Hereford and the Hereford-Brahman-Angus hybrids (Lots 1 and 2) gained somewhat
faster than the others (Table 1). It is interesting to note that the Lot 1 and 2
cattle made larger gains despite heavier starting weights. Carcass yields were
excellent for cattle as young as these; however, carcass grades were generally
disappointing. Degree of marbling was not as high as expected. Of the hybrids,
only the Charolais crosses (Lot 1) graded higher than the corresponding group in
last year's trial.3 Because of larger gain and higher selling price, the Lot 1
cattle were the only group that showed a net return above all costs. The light
weight Angus (Lot 6) and the Hereford-Brangus calves (Lot 2) made the most efficient
gains with little difference in efficiency among the other four lots.
The maximum initial value per cwt. of the feeder calves (Table 1) going
into the feedlot was calculated using the formula:
Gross sale price minus feed costs minus other feedlot costs X 100
Weight of feeder calves going into feedlot
Using these calculations, differences in value per 100 pounds between groups were
relatively small when started on feed with the exception of Lot 1 which had a
higher initial value. These values (Table 1) point to the need for an adequate
margin between feeder and fat cattle prices for heavy calves going directly into
the feedlot. Approximately $3.00 per cwt. margin between the cost per 100 pounds
going on feed and the selling price' of the fat cattle would have resulted in a
All the calves used in this trial were from liver fluke infested areas.
Despite treatment after weaning, 36 of the 59 cattle (61 percent) had live flukes
in their livers at slaughter. Following were the number of livers from each lot
condemned because of live flukes:
3 NFES Mimeo Rpt. 61-5, 1961.
Lot Number Livers Condemned
An adverse effect of flukes on performance of the cattle was not detected, but loss
of the liver itself was significant economically.
Tables 2 and 3 contain detailed carcass data. Relatively small differ-
ences were found in percentages of trimmed carcass weight among the various groups
(Table 2). Lots 4 (Brahman-Shorthorn) and 5 (Angus) had slightly smaller
percentages of trimmed weight while Lot 3 (Brahman-Hereford) had a slightly higher
percentage, probably because of the smaller kidney knob of the latter group (Table
Carcass characteristics of the six groups are shown ii Table 3. It is
interesting to note that the carcasses of the Cha-olais crosses in Lot 1 had the
highest conformation scores and were equalled by only those of the Angus in Lot 5
in amount of marbling. Carcasses from Lot 3 (Brahman-Hereford) apparently had
slightly less finish resulting in a higher estimated cutout, while Lot 4 (Brahman-
Shorthorn) carcasses with smaller rib eye areas had the lowest percentage of
estimated closely trimmed boneless cuts. The Charolais hybrid carcasses (Lot 1)
had the largest rib eye areas, but square inches of rib eye per 100 pounds carcass
weight did not differ greatly among the various groups except for Lot 4, which as
previously stated, had smaller rib eyes. Lighter carcass weights of Lots 5 and 6
explain their larger rib eye areas per 100 pounds carcass weight. The Angus
carcasses in Lots 5 and 6 were physiologically younger (A maturity compared to A+
for the other groups). This slight difference in physiological age is the reason
for the carcasses of Lot 5 grading as high as those of Lot 1, which had higher
conformation scores with the same degree of marbling. A combination of quality
grade and yield grade into a relative carcass value showed Lot 1 carcasses to be of
highest value per 100 pounds followed by Lots 3, 5, 6, 2, and 4 in that order.
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Table 4.--Feed Prices
Ground snapped corn
41% cottonseed meal
Coastal Bermuda grass hay
24 mg. stilbestrol implants
28.00 and 28.50
70.00 and 75.00
Table 5.--Prices Received for Carcasses
U. S. Choice $43.00
U. S. Good 40.00
U. S. Standard 37.00
Feeder calves were furnished by the U. S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston;
Stitt Ranch, Inc., Clewiston; and A. Duda and Sons, Cocoa.
Suber Edwards Packing Company (Frosty Morn Meats), Quincy, slaughtered
the cattle and assisted in collecting data.
Winn-Dixie Grocery Company, Jacksonville, cooperated in obtaining trimmed