I/iF/S Agricultural Research and Education Center
FLr Quincy, Florida
,/7t-/. August 2, 1973 i
Quincy AREC Mimeo Report NF-1974-1
FINISHING HEAVY CROSSBRED CALVES IN THE FEEDLOT
F. S. Baker, Jr., J. R. Crockett, J. W. Carpenter, and'Roger-West- ...
A project was initiated to produce heavy crossbred calves by mating
(AI) Limousin, Simmental, and Maine Anjou bulls to British and Brangus
cows. Shortly after weaning steer calves were trucked from AREC Belle
Glade to AREC Quincy for finishing in the feedlot. Because the breeding
herd was being established, there were not sufficient numbers of some of
the crosses to have experimental feedlot groups this year. In this pre-
liminary feedlot trial some of the calves were grouped according to type
rather than according to breed to avoid several small pens with only a
few calves in each. The calves were allotted as follows:
Lot 1. All calves out of Brangus dams, including those sired by
Santa Gertrudis, iHaine Anjou, and Limousin.
Lot 2. Limousin X British calves.
Lot 3. ilaine Anjou X British calves, including two Simmental
sired calves out of British dams.
Lot 4. Hereford X Angus calves.
The calves weighed an average of 568 pounds overall when trucked
from AREC Belle Glade to AREC Quincy on September 25, and 585 pounds
when started on feeding trial October 12. There were no health pro-
blems with the calves after the 425 mile trip as evidenced by the re-
covery of shrink and gain of an additional 17 pounds per head in the 17
days between shipment and starting on feeding trial.
After the calves were started, they were confined to dry lot under
shelter and fed once daily a ration composed of a full-feed of ensiled
rolled high moisture corn, 5 pounds of corn silage, 1.5 pounds of a
65% protein supplement (45% of the protein from non-protein nitrogen),
and self-fed minerals. Each calf was implanted with 36 mg stilbestrol
initially. Average daily feed consumption (gross weight,and dry matter
or moisture free basis) was:
Gross weight Dry matter
Lbs. % Lbs. %
Rolled Mi corn 13.87 74.23 14.04 81.30
Corn silage 4.93 19.40 1.77 10.25
Grass hay (start only) 0.12 0.47 0.10 0.58
Protein-mineral-vit. A sup. 1.50 5.90 1.36 7.87
Totals 25.42 100.00 17.27 100.00
i/Professor (Animal Husbandman) AREC, Quincy; Associate Professor (Assoc-
iate Geneticist) AREC, Belle Glade; Professor (Meat Scientist) and Assist-
ant Professor (Assistant Heat .Scientist), respectively, Animal Science De-
partment, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Protein content averaged 10.51% on a gross weight and 15.47% on a dry
S matter basis. The dry matter content of the ration was 68% with 32%
Cattle gains were calculated on actual final feedlot weights
(shrunk 4% from early morning weights) and adjusted weights (final
weights adjusted to a chilled carcass dressing percentage of 62). The
cattle were trucked 80 miles to the Sunnyland Packing Co. plant in
Dothan, Alabama, for slaughter. Carcass data were recorded by Univ-
ersity of Florida Heats Laboratory personnel after a 72-hour chill.
Cattle weights, gains, feed conversion, feed costs, and carcass
data are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of AREC
Belle Glade crossbred steer calves finished in AREC Quincy feedlot.
Days on feed
Ship wt. Belle Glade
Initial wt. feed trial
Final feedlot wt. (shrunk 4%)
Avg. daily gain
Carcass weight (chilled)
Results adjusted to 62% dress
Final live wt.
Avg. daily gain
Daily feed consumption:
Dry matter (moisture free)
Feed per 100 pounds gain:
10% moisture basis
F. C. + 0.10 head/day
* Corn, $1.80 bushel (No. 2 basis); corn silage, $14 ton (65% moisture);
supplement, $170 ton.
Chilled wt. (hot-2%)
Color of fat Cre
Kidney fat, %
Fat over eye, in.
Ribeye, (sq. in.)
Estimated yield %
. ch. red
Lt. ch. red
Lt. ch. red
Lt. ch. red
Gains, feed conversion, and costs of gain did not differ greatly for
the four groups. Likewise, with the exception of carcass weight, carcasses
were similar for most of characteristics; however, Lot 2 (Limousin X
British) and Lot 3 (1iaine Anjou X British) carcasses had higher estimated
yields of closely trimmed cuts. There were no choice carcasses from
animals in Lot 3.
These growth calves which weaned at heavy weights gained at except-
ional rates from weaning to slaughter. Efficiency of gain was also
outstanding. Calves such as those in this trial which were fed from
weaning to slaughter in approximately 6 months could greatly improve the
efficiency of beef production by gaining efficiently to an acceptable
finish at about 14 to 15 months of age. Moreover, it appears that
calves of this type must go directly into the feedlot at weaning if they
are to be finished at desirable market weights; delaying feedlot
finishing until after a stocker operation on pasture, or other forage,
would undoubtedly result in too heavy carcass weight when the cattle
reach acceptable finish.
August 2, 1973