nE f 2-5r
NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
April 25, 1963
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 63-8
FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF BRAHMAN-
EUROPEAN CROSSBRED AND HEREFORD CALVES
F. S. Baker, Jr., A. Z. Palmer, and J. W. Carpenter
Most of the calves gained faster and more efficiently than those in the
preceding trials. Brahman-Charolais-Hereford steers made larger, more efficient
gains and Brahman-Shorthorn crossbreds made smaller gains than the other groups.
Despite relatively large gains for 157 days and high carcass yields at
slaughter, lack of marbling resulted in lower carcass grades than expected.
Negative margins between feeder and fat cattle prices resulted in finan-
cial losses from the feedlot operation. An average of $3.00 margin between initial
value and actual sale price per 100 pounds would have allowed a modest profit for
the 50 calves.
Forty-five percent of the livers from the crossbred calves, which were
raised in fluke infested areas, were condemned because of live flukes. There
was no difference in performance or carcass characteristics of fluke-infested
and non-infested cattle.
Differences among groups were small in carcass grade, degree of marbling,
area of rib eye per 100 pounds carcass, fat cover over rib eye, estimated yield
of closely trimmed boneless cuts, and percent of trimmed carcass weight.
In two previous trials, calves of various Brahman- ropean losses approxi-
mately 10 months of age and weighing from 550 to 650 pounds!-' ide vefr satisfactory
gains for 160 days in dry lot. Comparable weight British cale ssa'de gains similar
to those of the Brahman hybrids in one trial, but lighter weliht'Angus calves
gained somewhat slower in the second trial. Carcass grades of"Br'hman hybrid cattle
have generally been as high as those of the British controls. Inith6-first experi-
ment, 3/8 Brahman 3/8 Charolais 1/4 Hereford and in the second test, 1/2 Brahman -
1/2 Hereford carcasses graded slightly lower. Lowest grading carcasses had the highest
Associate Animal iHsbandman, North Florida Experiment Station, Quincy;-Associate
Meat Scientist and Assistant Meat Scientist; Animal Science Department, Gainesville,
NFES Mimeo. Rpts. 61-5, 1961 and 62-10, 1962.
estimated cutout each year. In both trials, a margin of approximately $3 between the cost
per 100 pounds animal weight going on feed and the actual selling price of the fat cattle
would have been necessary to give a modest profit. Most of the carcasses from the calves
graded U. S. Good with a few U. S. Choice and U. S. Standard. Despite fluke treatment as
calves, the majority of livers from cattle originating in South Florida had live flukes at
slaughter. When cattle with fluke infested and clean livers were compared, it was apparent
that fluke infestation did not adversely affect feedlot performance, but loss of the liver
itself was significant economically.
To obtain further data on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of
Brahman-European crossbred and British calves, the trial reported herein was conducted.
Groups of European-Brahman hybrid calves were obtained shortly after weaning
from Clewiston and Cocoa, Florida. Ten head each of 1/4 Brahman 1/4 Angus 1/2
Hereford; 1/2 Brahman 1/2 Hereford; 3/8 Brahman 3/8 Charolais 1/4 Hereford; and 1/2
Brahman 1/2 Shorthorn were delivered to the North Florida Experiment Station on September
10 and September 17. A group of Hereford calves of approximately the same age and weight
was delivered f-om Tallahassee on September 4. All calves were placed in dry lot on a
light feed of gl; in and self-fed grass hay until September 28, when they 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 short preliminary feed to
insure normal fill before weighing on experiment.
After weighing the calves on trial, their 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. Table 6 shows the percentages
of concentrates and roughage actually consumed by each group. 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--5.0 lbs. per head daily.
41% cottonseed meal--2.5 Ibs. 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. Vitamin A palmitate was
mixed in the cottonseed meal to furnish 25,000 I.U. per steer daily. The calves were con-
fined to dry lot in a well-bedded steer feeding barn with 60 square feet of pen space and
2 feet of trough space per head.
Final live weights, taken after trucking 3 miles to Quincy in the early morning,
were shrunk 3 percent. The final shrunk weights were used in calculating gains, carcass
yields, and on foot 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 1/2 percent. Actual shipping weights
after 80-100 hours in the cooler were also recorded. After a 48 hour chill, the carcasses
were graded by a U.S. grader and assigned to one-third grades by Experiment Station
personnel. Carcasses were ribbed when graded. Sale prices were actual prices paid by the
packer for the carcasses (Table 5).
Feed costs were based on local prices at the time cattle were in the feedlot
(Table 4). Other costs (labor, pen rent, interest, and other expenses) were included in
the charge of $0.10 per head daily.
After 80 hours in the packing plant cooler, carcasses that graded U. S. Good
were weighed and trucked to the Winn-Dixie Grocery Company Warehouse in Jacksonville.
Hindquarters and forequarters were individually weighed after being trimmed by chain
store personnel. Shank bones, kidney knob, collar fat, and flanks were removed from
hindquarters before weighing. Plates, briskets, and shanks were removed from fore-
Carcass maturity, conformation, degree of marbling and USDA and quality grade
data were recorded for all carcasses. Fat thickness over the 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.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
With the exception of the Lot 8 Brahman Shorthorn calves, all groups gained
as fast or faster than comparable calves in preceding years3 (Table 1). The Brahman-
Charolais-Hereford steers (Lot 7) made a larger gain than the other lots and a larger
gain than the Brahman-Charolais-British cattle made in the 1961 and 1962 trials. The
Lot 6 Brahman-Hereford cattle also gained considerably faster than calves of the same
breeding in the preceding year.
Despite excellent feedlot gains and carcass yields, carcass grades were general-
ly disappointing (Tables 1, 2, and 3). Degree of marbling was not as high as might be
expected with heavy calves making such excellent gains for 157 days and having exception-
ally high carcass yields when slaughtered at 925 to 1050 pound weights. Evidently, the
youth of the calves caused them to grow, rather than fatten, although the percentage of
estimated kidney fat was higher than expected and higher than that in preceding years.
Carcass yields of 61 percent or more indicate that the calves had deposited a considerable
amount of internal fat and outside fat cover. Moreover the average carcass yield .of all
the carcasses that graded U. S. Standard was 61.95 percent (chilled carcass weight),
which is much higher than normal for the grade. There was a lack of marbling in both the
Brahman crossbred and Hereford carcasses, even though the carcasses averaged A+ in
maturity. Differences in degree of marbling among the various groups were small. Only
in the Fl hybrids (Lots 6 and 8) was lack of conformation responsible for cattle being
graded U. S. Standard and this was with only one carcass from each of the two groups.
All other carcasses had low good or highest conformation.
Negative margins between the cost per cwt. of the calves going into the feedlot
and the sale price of the fat cattle resulted in negative returns above costs of cattle
and feed (Table 1). The maximum initial value of the feeder cattle going into the feed-
lot was calculated using the formula:
Gross sale price minus feed costs minus other feedlot costs.
Weight of feeder calves going into feedlot 100
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 61-5, 1961 and NFES Mimeo Rpt. 62-10, 1962.
- 4 -
Using these calculations, differences in value per 100 pounds among groups were small
with the exception of the Lot 7 Charolais-cross calves which had a higher initial value
and the Lot 8 Brahman-Shorthorn calves which had a lower 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. Based on initial values and actual
selling prices; the necessary margin ranged from $0.12 per cwt. for Lot 7 to $3.57 per
cwt. for Lot 8, with an average of $1.91 for all lots. An additional margin of $1.00
per cwt. would have allowed a modest profit. This is in agreement with results of pre-
ceding trials in which $3.00 margin between initial value and actual sale price per cwt.
was necessary for a modest profit.
All the Brahman crossbred calves used in this trial originated in liver fluke
infested areas. Despite treatment after weaning, 18 of the 40 cattle (45 percent) had
live flukes in their livers at slaughter. Following were the number of livers from each
condemned because of live flukes:
Lot Number of Livers Condemned
When the performance and carcasses of fluke infested and non infested cattle
were compared, it was evident that the flukes did not adversely affect gain, carcass
weight, carcass grade, or initial value of the feeder calves. Condemning a liver did
result in a loss to the packer of about $3, however.
Tables 2 and 3 contain detailed carcass data. With the exception of Lot 8,
which had the largest kidney knob (Table 3) and smallest percentage of trimmed weight
(Table 2), only slight differences were found in percentages of trimmed carcass weight
among the various groups. Similarly, differences among lots were small in carcass grade,
degree of marbling, area of rib eye per cwt. carcass, fat cover over rib eye, and esti-
mated yield of closely trimmed boneless cuts.
Feeder calves were furnished by the U. S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston; A. Duda
and Sons, Cocoa; and Midyette Hereford Farm, Tallahassee.
Frosty Morn Meats, Quincy, slaughtered the cattle and assisted in collecting
Winn-Dixie Grocery Company, Jacksonville, cooperated in obtaining trimmed
Table 1--Feedlot Results Calf Fattening Trial, 1962-1963
Lot 4 Lot 5 Lot 6 Lot 7 Lot 8
1/4 Brahman 3/8 Brahman
Breeding 1/4 Angus 1/2 Brahman 3/8 Charolais 1/2 Brahman
1/2 Hereford Hereford 1/2 Hereford 1/4 Hereford 1/2 Shorthorn
Number head 10 10 10 Lu .u
Number days 157 157 157 157 157
Ave. initial weight* 576 549 550 611 522
Ave. final weight* 944 923 933 1046 826
Ave. gain 368 374 384 435 304
Ave. daily gain 2.34 2.38 2.44 2.77 1.94
Average Daily Ration:
Ground snapped corn 15.36 14.78 14.01 15.28 11.79
Citrus molasses 4.65 4.65 4.65 4.65 4.65
41% cottonseed meal 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40
Coastal Bermuda hay 2.52 2.17 2.86 3.12 3.16
Feed Per 100 Pounds Gain:
Concentrates*'; 957(761) 916(730) 861(689) 807(641) 972(790)
Hay** 108(304) 91(277) 117(289) 113(279) 163(345)
Mineral 2.3 3.2 1.5 3.0 2,7
Cost $ 22.69 $ 21.64 $ 20-.70 $ 19.43 $ 23.83
Carcass and Financial Data:
Ave. slaughter weight 944 923 933 1046 826
Ave. carcass weight*** 588 564 581 641 510
Ave. carcass yield (percent) 62.27 61.11 62.27 61.27 61.68
Ave. carcass grade Low/ave.gd. Low/ave.gd. Low good Low/ave.gd. Low good
Ave. price cwt. carcass $ 37.24 $ 37.35 $ 36.62 $ 37.34 $ 37.07
Ave. price cwt. on foot 23.19 22.83 22.80 22.88 22.86
Ave. cost cwt. feeders 26.00 26.00 26.00 26.00 26.00
Ave. cost head feeders 149.84 142.82 142.87 158.81 135.72
Ave. feed cost 83.49 80.96 79.39 84.51 72.53
Ave. cost cattle and feed 233.33 223.78 222.26 243.32 208.25
Sale price per head 218.97 210.79 212.76 239.21 188.94
Net return above costs cattle
and feed -14.35 -12.99 -9.50 -4.11 -19.31
Sale price head $ 218.97 $ 210.79 $ 212.76 $ 239.21 $ 188.94
Feed cost 83.49 80.96 79.39 84.51 72.53
Other costs ($0.10 day) 15.70 15.70 15.70 15.70 15.70
Initial value (sale price less costs)119.78 114.13 117.67 139.00 100.71
Initial value cwt. 20.79 20.78 21.41 22.76 19.29
', Initial weights at feedlot not shrunk -- final weight at Quincy packing plant shrunk 3 percent.
* Numbers in parentheses are on shelled corn basis -- cob and shuck as roughage.
H. o Hot weights less 2 1/2 percent.
Table 2.--Carcass Data, Calf Fattening Trial, 1962-1963.
Lot 4 Lot 5 Lot 6 Lot 7 Lot 8
1/4 Brahman 3/8 Brahman
1/4 Angus 1/2 Brahman 3/8 Charolais 1/2 Brahman
1/2 Hereford Hereford 1/2 Hereford 1/4 Hereford 1/2 Shorthorn
Weight on foot at slaughter 944 923 933 1046 826
Hot weight carcass less 2 1/2 percent 588 564 581 641 510
Carcass yield (percent) 62.27 61.11 62.27 61.27 61.68
Shipping weight (80-100 hours) 593 569 585 646 515
Cooler shrink (percent) 1.67 1.68 1.81 1.70 1.47
Carcass yield (shipping weight) 62.80 61.63 62.70 61.77 62.33
Carcass grades - - - -
2 High good - - 1 High good 1 High good
3 Ave. good 5 Ave. good 4 Ave. good 2 Ave. good 3 Ave. good
3 Low good 4 Low good - 6 Low good 3 Low good
2 High std. 1 High std. 6 High std. 1 High std. 3 High std.
Wt. trimmed hinds* 221 203 222 242 183
Percent hinds** 36.00 35.90 37.17 37.70 34.83
Wt. trimmed fronts* 223 207 217 231 188
Percent fronts** 36.33 36.54 36.30 36.02 35.81
Wt. trimmed carcass* 444 409 439 473 370
Percent trimmed carcass** 72.33 72.44 73.47 73.72 70.63
At Winn-Dixie Grocery Company Warehouse, Jacksonville, Florida.
**Of shipping weight.
*** Weights at Winn-Dixie include 8 carcasses from Lot 4, 9 carcasses
Lot 7, and 8 carcasses from Lot 8.
from Lot 5, 5 carcasses from Lot 6, 8 carcasses from
Table 3. Carcass Study.
Her/or H/eHrfod 1/eHrfod1/rSothr
Hot wt. carcass
Chilled wt. carcass (80 hrs.)
Quality grade*** Av
USDA grade Av
Rib eye area (sq. in.)
Rib eye area per cwt. carcass (sq.in.)
Fat over rib eye (in.)
Est. kidney fat (percent)
Est. kidney fat (pounds)
Est. yield closely trimmed boneless rib, chuck,
loin, rump and round (percent)
Percent cutout of W.D. trimmed weight
A. Red, pourous chine bones; soft, pearly white cartilages.
B. Intermediate maturity for Prime, Choice, or Good grades.
C. Approaching maximum maturity fdr Prime, Choice, or Good grades.
* Degrees of Marbling.
1. Extremely abundant.
2. Very abundant
4. Moderately abundant.
5. Slightly abundant.
8. Small amount.
9. Slight amount
11. Practically devoid.
* Based on degree of marbling and maturity, color, texture, and firmness of lean.
Table 4. Feed Prices.
Ground snapped corn
41% cottonseed meal + vitamin A
Coastal Bermuda hay
$40.00 and 45.00
28.00 and 31.00
80.00 and 82.00
0.20 each (24 mg.)
Table 5. Prices Received for Carcasses.
U. S. Good
U. S. Standard
Table 6. Percentages Concentrates and Roughage Consumed.