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Effect of Phenotypic Characteristics and Preconditioning Gain on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Beef...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022260/00001

Material Information

Title: Effect of Phenotypic Characteristics and Preconditioning Gain on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Beef Cattle
Physical Description: 1 online resource (125 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Animal Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Animal Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In an attempt to quantify the effects of phenotypic characteristics and preconditioning performance on calf performance during preconditioning, in the feedlot, and on the rail, 1100 steers and 421 heifers from a commercial cow/calf operation in Florida were evaluated. All calves were preconditioned in North Central Florida. Possible predictors of subsequent performance such as weaning weight (WW), estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics were evaluated. In the first trial, preconditioning average daily gain (PCADG) decreased as WW increased. As estimated Brahman percentage increased, PCADG also increased. The PCADG of calves with a white hair coat was less than all other observed colors. Evaluation of feedlot performance found that as WW increased, days on feed (DOF) decreased. Feed efficiency (FE) for steers and heifers improved as PCADG increased. Calves with grater PCADG were also fed for fewer DOF. Improvements in DOF and FE as PCADG increased resulted in a decrease in cost of gain (TCOG). Estimated Brahman percentage had no effect on feedlot performance. Average daily gain (ADG) decreased as condition score increased. Heifers had fewer DOF than steers, while steers had a lower TCOG. Red cattle had lower ADG values, poorer FE, and higher TCOG than all other colors evaluated. Black cattle were on feed for fewer DOF than all other colors evaluated. White cattle had greater DOF than most other colors. Color pattern had no effect on any parameter measured during the feedlot phase. Non-shed cattle exhibited greater FE and were fed for fewer DOF than shed or partial shed cattle which resulted in a lower TCOG value. As WW increased, hot carcass weight (HCW), yield grade (YG), and ribeye area (REA) increased, however, REA/100 kg declined. As PCADG increased, HCW increased. Calves that gained more weight during preconditioning had larger REA but smaller REA/100kg values. As estimated Brahman percentage increased HCW and quality grade (QG) decreased. Differences in condition score resulted in heavier HCW for slightly thin and average condition calves when compared to slightly fleshy calves. Slightly thin calves had lower REA/100kg than average condition and slightly fleshy calves. Steers had heavier HCW than heifers and reported smaller REA/100kg values than heifers. Black cattle had lighter HCW than yellow, grey, and white cattle. Black and grey cattle had better QG than red and yellow cattle. Red and yellow cattle had similar QG, while white cattle were intermediate to all other colors and similar. Black cattle had a greater YG and smaller REA than all other colors evaluated. Black cattle had smaller REA/100kg values than yellow and grey calves but were similar to red and white cattle. Color pattern had no significant affect on any of the carcass traits measured indicating that cattle perform similarly for carcass characteristics regardless of color pattern. Shedding characteristics had no significant affect on any of the carcass traits measured in this study.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Thrift, Todd A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022260:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022260/00001

Material Information

Title: Effect of Phenotypic Characteristics and Preconditioning Gain on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Beef Cattle
Physical Description: 1 online resource (125 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Animal Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Animal Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In an attempt to quantify the effects of phenotypic characteristics and preconditioning performance on calf performance during preconditioning, in the feedlot, and on the rail, 1100 steers and 421 heifers from a commercial cow/calf operation in Florida were evaluated. All calves were preconditioned in North Central Florida. Possible predictors of subsequent performance such as weaning weight (WW), estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics were evaluated. In the first trial, preconditioning average daily gain (PCADG) decreased as WW increased. As estimated Brahman percentage increased, PCADG also increased. The PCADG of calves with a white hair coat was less than all other observed colors. Evaluation of feedlot performance found that as WW increased, days on feed (DOF) decreased. Feed efficiency (FE) for steers and heifers improved as PCADG increased. Calves with grater PCADG were also fed for fewer DOF. Improvements in DOF and FE as PCADG increased resulted in a decrease in cost of gain (TCOG). Estimated Brahman percentage had no effect on feedlot performance. Average daily gain (ADG) decreased as condition score increased. Heifers had fewer DOF than steers, while steers had a lower TCOG. Red cattle had lower ADG values, poorer FE, and higher TCOG than all other colors evaluated. Black cattle were on feed for fewer DOF than all other colors evaluated. White cattle had greater DOF than most other colors. Color pattern had no effect on any parameter measured during the feedlot phase. Non-shed cattle exhibited greater FE and were fed for fewer DOF than shed or partial shed cattle which resulted in a lower TCOG value. As WW increased, hot carcass weight (HCW), yield grade (YG), and ribeye area (REA) increased, however, REA/100 kg declined. As PCADG increased, HCW increased. Calves that gained more weight during preconditioning had larger REA but smaller REA/100kg values. As estimated Brahman percentage increased HCW and quality grade (QG) decreased. Differences in condition score resulted in heavier HCW for slightly thin and average condition calves when compared to slightly fleshy calves. Slightly thin calves had lower REA/100kg than average condition and slightly fleshy calves. Steers had heavier HCW than heifers and reported smaller REA/100kg values than heifers. Black cattle had lighter HCW than yellow, grey, and white cattle. Black and grey cattle had better QG than red and yellow cattle. Red and yellow cattle had similar QG, while white cattle were intermediate to all other colors and similar. Black cattle had a greater YG and smaller REA than all other colors evaluated. Black cattle had smaller REA/100kg values than yellow and grey calves but were similar to red and white cattle. Color pattern had no significant affect on any of the carcass traits measured indicating that cattle perform similarly for carcass characteristics regardless of color pattern. Shedding characteristics had no significant affect on any of the carcass traits measured in this study.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Thrift, Todd A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022260:00001


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PAGE 1

EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTE RISTICS AND PREC ONDITIONING GAIN ON FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF BEEF CATTLE By JESSE DAN SAVELL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Jesse Dan Savell

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3 This thesis is dedicated to my parents, Hollis B. Savell Jr. and Marilyn I. Savell.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Todd Thrift for a llowing m e the opportunity to continue my education, and for the guidance and leadership th at he provided along the way. Not only was he helpful in conducting research, Dr. Thrift also ta ught me a great deal about life, teaching, and cattle management. I would also like to tha nk my committee members Dr. John Arthington and Dr. Matt Hersom for their support and guidance. I would like to extend my appr eciation to Joe Hilliard II fo r his patience and cooperation during this project. I also thank the owners a nd employees of Thomas Ca ttle Buying Service, Lane County Feeders, and Excel for their assistance and cooperation. I would be remiss if I failed to thank my parents for their continued encouragement throughout this endeavor. I would also like to thank my wife Amber and my two beautiful daughters, Tera and Jenna, for th eir support throu ghout the years.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9 LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................10 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................14 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................16 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................17 Preconditioning.......................................................................................................................17 History of Preconditioning..............................................................................................17 Purpose of Preconditioning.............................................................................................19 Value of Preconditioning................................................................................................. 22 Shrink Differences due to Preconditioning.....................................................................23 Factors Affecting Calf Value..................................................................................................23 Weight.............................................................................................................................23 Brahman Percentage........................................................................................................24 Condition Score............................................................................................................... 26 Sex...................................................................................................................................26 Coat Color.......................................................................................................................28 Color Pattern....................................................................................................................28 Hair Shedding Characteristics......................................................................................... 29 Age..................................................................................................................................29 Technology Utilization to Improve Performance................................................................... 30 Sorting.............................................................................................................................30 Electronic Identification.................................................................................................. 31 3 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CH ARAC TERISTICS ON PRECONDITIONING PERFORMANCE................................................................................................................... 34 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........34 Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................34 Results and Discussion......................................................................................................... ..39 Weaning Weight.............................................................................................................. 39 Brahman Percentage........................................................................................................39 Condition Score............................................................................................................... 40 Sex...................................................................................................................................40 Coat Color.......................................................................................................................41 Color Pattern....................................................................................................................42

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6 Coat Shedding Characteristics......................................................................................... 42 Implications................................................................................................................... .........43 4 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTERISTICS AND PRECONDITIONING PERFORM ANCE ON FEED LOT PERFORMANCE........................................................... 48 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........48 Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................49 Results and Discussion......................................................................................................... ..54 Weaning Weight.............................................................................................................. 54 Effect of weaning weight on feedlot average daily gain.......................................... 54 Effect of weaning weight on feed efficiency............................................................ 55 Effect of weaning weight on days on feed............................................................... 55 Effect of weaning weight on total cost of gain.........................................................55 Preconditioning Average Daily Gain..............................................................................56 Effect of preconditioning average dail y gain on feedlot average daily gain ............ 56 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on feed efficiency .............................56 Effect of preconditioning averag e daily gain on days on feed .................................57 Effects of preconditioning average da ily gain on total cost of gain ......................... 57 Brahman Percentage........................................................................................................57 Effect of estimated Brahman percen tage on feedlot average daily gain .................. 57 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feed efficiency.................................... 58 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on days on feed....................................... 58 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on total cost of gain................................. 59 Condition Score............................................................................................................... 59 Effect of condition score on feedlot average daily gain ........................................... 59 Effect of condition scor e on feed efficiency ............................................................ 60 Effect of condition score on days on feed................................................................60 Effect of condition score on total cost of gain ......................................................... 60 Sex...................................................................................................................................61 Effect of sex on feedlo t average daily gain .............................................................. 61 Effect of sex on feed efficiency................................................................................62 Effect of sex on days on feed................................................................................... 62 Effect of sex on total cost of gain............................................................................. 62 Coat Color.......................................................................................................................62 Effect of coat color on f eedlot average daily gain ................................................... 63 Effect of coat colo r on feed efficiency .....................................................................63 Effect of coat color on days on feed.........................................................................64 Effect of coat color on total cost of gain .................................................................. 64 Color Pattern....................................................................................................................64 Coat Shedding Characteristics......................................................................................... 65 Effect of coat shedding characteri stics on feedlot average daily gain ..................... 65 Effect of coat shedding charac teristics on feed efficiency ....................................... 65 Effect of coat shedding char acteristics on days on feed ........................................... 65 Effect of coat shedding characte ristics on total cost of gain .................................... 66

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7 5 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTERISTICS AND PRECONDITIONING PERFORM ANCE ON CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS................................................... 83 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........83 Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................84 Results and Discussion......................................................................................................... ..89 Weaning Weight.............................................................................................................. 89 Effect of weaning weight on hot carcass weight...................................................... 89 Effect of weaning weight on adjusted quality grade................................................ 89 Effect of weaning weight on REA and REA/100kg................................................89 Effect of weaning weight on yield grade................................................................. 90 Preconditioning Average Daily Gain..............................................................................90 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on hot carcass weight ........................90 Effect of preconditioning average dail y gain on adjusted quality grade ..................90 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on REA and REA/100 kg .................90 Effect of preconditioning averag e daily gain on yield grade ...................................91 Brahman Percentage........................................................................................................91 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on hot carcass weight.............................. 91 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on adjusted quality grade........................ 91 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on REA and REA/100 kg........................ 92 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on yield grade.......................................... 93 Condition Score............................................................................................................... 94 Effect of condition score on hot carcass weight....................................................... 94 Effect of condition score on adjusted quality grade.................................................94 Effect of condition score on REA and REA/100 kg................................................94 Effect of condition score on yield grade..................................................................95 Sex...................................................................................................................................95 Effect of sex on hot carcass weight.......................................................................... 95 Effect of sex on adju sted quality grade .................................................................... 95 Effect of sex on REA and REA/100 kg.................................................................... 96 Effect of sex on yield grade......................................................................................96 Coat Color.......................................................................................................................96 Effect of coat color on hot carcass weight............................................................... 97 Effect of coat color on adjusted quality grade ..........................................................97 Effect of coat color on REA and REA/100 kg......................................................... 98 Effect of coat color on yield grade........................................................................... 98 Color Pattern....................................................................................................................98 Coat Shedding Characteristics......................................................................................... 99 Implications................................................................................................................... .........99 APPENDIX DIET COMPOSITION............................................................................................................... .119 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................120 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................125

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8

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page A1 Feedlot starting ration and finishing rati on com position and nutrient profile on a dry matter basis................................................................................................................... ...119

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Effect of weaning weight on preconditioning average daily gain..................................... 443-2 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on preconditioning average daily gain............. 443-3 Effect of condition score on preconditioning average daily gain...................................... 453-4 Effect of sex on preconditioning average daily gain......................................................... 453-5 Effect of coat color on preconditioning average daily gain...............................................463-6 Effect of color pattern on preconditioning average daily gain.......................................... 463-7 Effect of hair shedding characterist ics on preconditioning average daily gain................. 474-1 Effect of weaning weight on feedlot average daily gain.................................................... 684-2 Weaning weight by sex interacti on for feedlot feed efficiency.........................................684-3 Effect of weaning weight on feedlot days on feed............................................................. 694-4 Effect of weaning weight on feedlot total cost of gain...................................................... 694-5 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on feedlot average daily gain..................... 704-6 Preconditioning average daily gain by sex interaction for feedlot feed efficiency............ 704-7 Effect of preconditioning average da ily gain on feedlot days on feed..............................714-8 Effect of preconditioning average dail y gain on feedlot total cost of gain........................ 714-9 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feedlot average daily gain. Main effect.......724-10 Estimated Brahman percentage by cond ition score interaction for feedlot feed efficiency............................................................................................................................724-11 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feedlot days on feed..................................... 734-12 Effect of estimated Brahman percen tage on feedlot total cost of gain.............................. 734-13 Effect of condition score on feedlo t average daily gain. Main effect................................ 744-14 Effect of condition scor e on feedlot days on feed.............................................................. 744-15 Effect of condition score on feedlot total cost of gain....................................................... 75

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11 4-16 Sex by hair shedding characteristics inte raction for feedlot av erage daily gain. ............... 754-17 Effect of sex on feedlot days on feed................................................................................. 764-18 Effect of sex on feedlot total cost of gain.......................................................................... 764-19 Effect of coat color on feedlot average daily gain............................................................. 774-20 Effect of coat color on feedlot feed efficiency................................................................... 774-21 Effect of coat color on feedlot days on feed...................................................................... 784-22 Effect of coat color on f eedlot total cost of gain................................................................ 784-23 Effect of color pattern on feedlot average daily gain......................................................... 794-24 Effect of color pattern on feedlot feed efficiency..............................................................794-25 Effect of color pattern on feedlot days on feed..................................................................804-26 Effect of color pattern on feedlot total cost of gain...........................................................804-27 Effect of hair shedding characte ristics on feedlot feed efficiency..................................... 814-28 Effect of hair shedding charac teristics on feedlot days on feed......................................... 814-29 Effect of hair shedding characteri stics on feedlot tota l cost of gain.................................. 825-1 Effect of weaning weight on hot carcass weight.............................................................1005-2 Effect of weaning weig ht on carcass quality grade......................................................... 1005-3 Effect of weaning weig ht on carcass ribeye area............................................................. 1015-4 Effect of weaning weight on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg........................................... 1015-5 Effect of weaning weight in carcass yield grade............................................................. 1025-6 Effect of preconditioning averag e daily gain on hot carcass weight............................... 1025-7 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on carcass quality grade...........................1035-8 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on carcass ribeye area............................... 1035-9 Effect of preconditioning average dail y gain on carcass ribe ye area per 100 kg............ 1045-10 Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on carcass yield grade.............................. 1045-11 Effect of estimated Brahman pe rcentage on hot carcass weight...................................... 105

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12 5-12 Effect of estimated Brahman pe rcentage on carcass quality grade. ................................. 1055-13 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on ribeye area................................................. 1065-14 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on ribeye area per 100 kg............................... 1065-15 Estimated Brahman percentage by condition score interaction for carcass yield grade.. 1075-16 Effect of condition scor e on hot carcass weight..............................................................1075-17 Condition score by sex inte raction for quality grade.......................................................1085-18 Condition score by sex inte raction for ribeye area..........................................................1085-19 Condition score by hair shedding character istics interaction for ribeye area.................. 1095-20 Effect of condition scor e on ribeye area per 100 kg........................................................1095-21 Effect of sex on hot carcass weight.................................................................................. 1105-22 Effect of sex on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg............................................................... 1105-23 Effect of sex on carcass yield grade................................................................................. 1115-24 Effect of coat color on hot carcass weight....................................................................... 1115-25 Effect of coat color on carcass quality grade...................................................................1125-26 Effect of coat colo r on carcass ribeye area...................................................................... 1125-27 Effect of coat color on ca rcass ribeye area per 100 kg.................................................... 1135-28 Effect of coat colo r on carcass yield grade...................................................................... 1135-29 Effect of color patter n on hot carcass weight................................................................... 1145-30 Effect of color patter n on carcass quality grade............................................................... 1145-31 Effect of color patter n on carcass ribeye area..................................................................1155-32 Effect of color pattern on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg................................................ 1155-33 Effect of color pattern on carcass yield grade.................................................................. 1165-34 Effect of hair shedding char acteristics on hot carcass weight.........................................1165-35 Effect of hair shedding charac teristics on carcass quality grade..................................... 117

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13 5-36 Effect of hair shedding characte ristics on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg. ...................... 1175-37 Effect of hair shedding charac teristics on carcass yield grade........................................ 118

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14 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTE RISTICS AND PREC ONDITIONING GAIN ON FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CAHRACTERISTICS OF BEEF CATTLE By Jesse Dan Savell May 2008 Chair: Dr. Todd Thrift Major: Animal Sciences In an attempt to quantify the effects of phenotypic characteristics and preconditioning performance on calf performance during precondi tioning, in the feedlot, and on the rail, 1100 steers and 421 heifers from a commercial cow/calf operation in Florida were evaluated. All calves were preconditioned in North Central Flor ida. Possible predictors of subsequent performance such as weaning weight (WW), es timated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics were ev aluated. In the first trial, preconditioning average daily ga in (PCADG) decreased as WW increased. As estimated Brahman percentage increased, PCADG also increase d. The PCADG of calves with a white hair coat was less than all other observed colors. Evaluation of feedlot performance found that as WW increased, days on feed (DOF) decreased. Feed efficiency (FE) for steers and heifers improved as PCADG increased. Calves with grater PCADG were also fed for fewer DOF. Improvements in DOF and FE as PCADG increased resulted in a decrease in cost of gain (TCOG). Estimated Brahman percentage had no effect on feedlot performance. Average da ily gain (ADG) decreased as condition score increased. Heifers had fewer DOF than steers, while steers had a lower TCOG. Red cattle had

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15 lower ADG values, poorer FE, and higher TCOG than all other colors evaluated. Black cattle were on feed for fewer DOF than all other colors evaluated. White cattle had greater DOF than most other colors. Color pattern had no effect on any parameter measured during the feedlot phase. Non-shed cattle exhibited greater FE and were fed for fewer DOF than shed or partial shed cattle which resulted in a lower TCOG value. As WW increased, hot carcass weight (HCW), yield grade (YG), and ribeye area (REA) increased, however, REA/100 kg declined. As PC ADG increased, HCW incr eased. Calves that gained more weight during preconditioning had larger REA but smaller REA/100kg values. As estimated Brahman percentage increased HCW an d quality grade (QG) decreased. Differences in condition score resulted in heavier HCW for s lightly thin and average condition calves when compared to slightly fleshy calves. Slightly thin calves had lower REA/100kg than average condition and slightly fleshy calves. Steers had heavier HCW than heifers and reported smaller REA/100kg values than heifers. Black cattle ha d lighter HCW than yellow, grey, and white cattle. Black and grey cattle had better QG than red and yellow cattle. Red and yellow cattle had similar QG, while white cattle were intermediate to all other colors and similar. Black cattle had a greater YG and smaller REA than all othe r colors evaluated. Black cattle had smaller REA/100kg values than yellow and grey calves but were similar to red and white cattle. Color pattern had no significant affect on any of the carcass traits measured indicating that cattle perform similarly for carcass characteristics rega rdless of color pattern. Shedding characteristics had no significant affect on any of the car cass traits measured in this study.

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16 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Retained ow nership and preconditioning are tw o terms that are heard quite frequently when talking with progressive cattlemen. Both of these prac tices provide an opportunity to capture a greater share of the market dollar. However, opportunities generally come with a certain amount of risk. When retaining ownership of calves, many cattle men have struggled with the fact that a small percentage of calves lose a large amount of money and theore tically rob the profit from the rest of the pen. Because of this phenomenon, a tremendous economic improvement can be made by eliminating poor performing calves from a group. Therefore, the objec tive of this study was to determine if cattle that lost money in the later production stages could have been identified during the preconditioning period. If identified, thes e calves could be managed differently in order to capture the greatest amount of revenue or at least minimize the loss. Additionally, losses were quantified to determ ine if they resulted from poor feedlot performance, sub-par carcass characteristics, or a combination of the two. By identifying poor performing calves early, producers would be able to make a more informed decision and hopefully increase the net return of the calf crop. The preconditioning period is the first opportu nity to evaluate a calfs performance without the influence of the dam. In many cases it is also the first ti me that calves are under intensive management and can be identified in dividually. The purpose of this study was to determine if easily measurable differences between individual calves at weaning could be used to predict that animals performance during the prec onditioning period, in the feedlot, or on the rail.

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17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Preconditioning History of Preconditioning Preconditioning is a term used to describe prep aration for a later pro cess. In the cattle industry it refers to a number of processes that prepare calves for a latter phase of production. Providing a transition period between weaning and the feedlot is cert ainly not a new concept. In 1965 Dr. John Herrick first introduced the concept of preparing calves for th e feedlot while still on the ranch of origin. In the last 40 years, volumes of research have been conducted to investigate the potential benefits and limitations of preconditioning calves, with mixed results. Economic evaluations of preconditioning have also yielded variable results. Due to the number of variables involved in predic ting preconditioning profitability, a nd the subsequent uncertainty of return on investment, many producers have been reluctant to accept the practice. However, in recent years the demand for preconditioned calves by the feedlot segment has increased the willingness of producers to implement prec onditioning programs. Today there are many programs that certify calves based on vaccina tion procedure and lengt h of the preconditioning period in order to gain market premiums associated with preconditioned calves. Preconditioning programs on the ranch typica lly include pre-weaning vaccination, castration, and dehorning (Pritchard and Me ndez, 1990). Post-weaning preconditioning as defined by Cole (1985) includes another factor of importance, which is the nutrition of the freshly weaned calf. Nutritional aspects of preconditioning not only consider the nutrient requirements of the stressed calf, but also incl udes the acclimation of calves to dry feed, feed bunks, and water troughs.

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18 During the preconditioning period calves may be started on a higher plan e of nutrition than they were exposed to prior to weaning. Starting diets should be high quality and palatable in order to minimize bodyweight losses immediately after weaning. Starter diets should also be balanced in vitamin and mineral content to ensure optimal immune function. The palatability of the starter ration is of utmost importance to ensure that calves begin eating from bunks as soon as possible. Economic return from a preconditioning program is primarily determined by the cost of gain during preconditioning and the magnitude of the premium associated with preconditioned calves. However, changes in the market and the weather can have an enormous effect on profitability, as well as increas e the economic risk. Costs associ ated with preconditioning calves vary widely depending on the type of precondi tioning program (Dhuyvetter et al., 2005). Lalman and Smith (2001) estimated 45 day preconditioning costs to range from $35 to $60 per head. One of the greatest costs associated with pr econditioning is generall y the cost of feed inputs (Cole, 1985). Increasing the amount of su pplementation will generally increase the cost of preconditioning. However, the additional gains associated with supplemented calves may prove more economical than grazing alone. For this reason, lower individual calf costs are generally associated with on the ranch precond itioning where calves are allowed to graze. High quality forages may serve as an economical way to precondition calves while still maintaining an adequate level of nutrition for the animal. S upplementation can be a more favorable means of preconditioning when considering the depende ncy on favorable weather conditions when utilizing forage only. Availability of cheaper byproduct feedstuffs may im prove the profitability of the preconditioning program when calves ar e supplemented (Alkire and Thrift, 2005).

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19 The amount of gain that can be attained dur ing the preconditioning phase is largely due to the quality of available forage and the amount of supplementation. In many situations, gain is secondary to providing an adequate plane of nutrition and teaching cat tle to eat from bunks. This is the case in many states that ar e located great distances from the typical cattle feeding states of the Midwest and Great Plains. In these areas, high rates of gain during the preconditioning period result in extra pounds of calf that must be shipped and therefore higher transportation costs. Furthermore, these pounds can generally be put on much more economically in the feedlot due to their closer proximity to f eedstuffs and economies of scale. Purpose of Preconditioning One of the primary reasons for preconditioning calves is to reduce the stress associated with the weaning process and help calves tran sition into a new phase of production. The period of time following weaning is a very stressful period in a calfs life (Hickey et al., 2003). Anxiety associated with removal from the cow, physical irritation of bawling, chan ges of water and feed, and fatigue from handling and walking the fence pr edisposes the calf to disease (Herrick 1969). Transportation and commingling can compound the stress on calves during this critical period. One of the primary objectives of preconditioning is to reduce the incidence of respiratory disease in calves during the period of time between weaning and slaughter. This can be accomplished by increasing each calfs immunity to organisms that cause bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and by reducing the stress on the calves before, during, and after shipment from the ranch of origin (Speer et al., 2001). Pr econditioning also provides an opportunity for calves that do become sick to recuperate before being shipped a long distance to the feeding states and before entering the feedlot. Sin ce the preconditioning period is generally short (14 to 60 days), it allows for intensive observation of calves for si gns of morbidity, which helps to ensure that calves are treated sooner. Earl y detection and treatment of BRD can reduce medicine cost,

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20 recovery time, and the spread of infectious disease. Preconditioning may also serve as a point at which unthrifty or chronically il l calves can be identified and culled without incurring the added costs associated with placement into the feedlot. Previous vaccinations have a great impact on the success of a preconditioning program. Kreikemeier et al. (1997) showed that calves that were vaccinated prior to weaning responded to vaccination better than calves that were vaccinat ed after weaning. Calves that have not been properly vaccinated or developed a poor immune response to previous vaccinations may be immunized during the preconditioning period. Prec onditioning may be the last chance to raise a calfs level of immunity to BRD before entering the feedlot phase of production. It is very important to reduce the stress level in freshly weaned calves. This will allow the calfs immune system to function properly and re duce the incidence of BRD. It should also be noted that reducing the disease challenge is a ve ry important part of preventing BRD. Reducing or eliminating commingling, a nd preconditioning calves on the ra nch of origin, both reduce the probability that calves will be e xposed to an infectious agent. Bovine respiratory disease ha s been shown by researchers to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the feedlot (Wool ums et al. 2005; USDA, 2006). Snowder et al. (2006) stated that the economic loss associated with lower gains and treatment costs of BRD infected calves resulted in an average loss of revenue of $13.90 per head for the entire lot. However, this analysis did not include feed consumed by calves that die d, labor and associated handling cost, or possible effects on carcass charact eristics. Fulton et al (2002) evaluated the losses associated with BRD correla ted to the number of times the animal was treated. In a study of 417 head of cattle, individuals that were treated once for BRD returned $40.64 less than

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21 untreated cattle. Cattle treated twice returned $58.35 less and those treated three times returned $291.93 less than their untreated contemporaries. Establishing a good immune response to BRD before entering the feedlot has been shown to reduce the incidence of mo rbidity and mortality in the feedlot (McNeill, 2001). In a comprehensive review of preconditioning, Cole (1985) showed that preconditioning was an effective means of decreasing feedlot morbidity and mortality by approximately 6% and 0.7%, respectively. Reductions in morbidity have also been shown to improve feedlot performance and carcass characteristics (McNeill, 2001). Cravey (1996) reported values for daily gain of 2.59 lbs/day and 2.88 lbs/day for non-preconditioned and preconditione d calves, respectively. Dry matter feed conversion was improved from 6.45 lbs of feed/lb of gain to 5.98lbs of feed/lb of gain by preconditioning calves. These improvements in performance resulted in preconditioned calves being harvested at heavier weights with fewer days on feed. In a three year experiment by Pate and Crockett (1978), preconditioned calves exhibited a 6% increase in gain during the first year, and an 11% increase the second year. However, no significant differences were observed during the third year. There were also no differences in feed efficiency for any of the three years of the study. Pritchard and Mendez (1990) found no significant difference between average daily gain of preconditioned vs. non-precond itioned calves in a study that evaluated 600 Charolais sired calves from four ranches. The authors also noted poorer feed convers ion for preconditioned calves compared to non-preconditioned calves (6. 44 and 6.24 respectively), which they attributed to compensatory growth of non-preconditioned calves. The magnitude of improvement in feedlot performance of precondi tioned calves is variable and may require further research.

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22 Value of Preconditioning Preconditioning status is one of the major dr ivers associated w ith premium calf prices (King et al. 2006) primarily due to improved health status of the calves. Buyers are willing to pay relatively large premiums for healthy calves (Minert et al. 1988). Premiums paid for calves that have been preconditioned have been reported to vary based on age, sex, weight, condition, lot size, season, and geographic region (Minert et al. 1988). In an evaluation of 421,478 beef calves that we re marketed by videotape auction in the summer of 2005, King et al. (2006) illustrated a $6.64/cwt premiu m for calves that qualified for the Vac-45 (vaccinated and weaned for 45 d) certified health program Calves that qualified for the Vac-45 program were compared to similar ca lves that were not weaned and had not been vaccinated against respiratory trac t viruses prior to shipment from the ranch of origin. Premiums associated with Vac-45 calves have consistently trended upward from $2.47/cwt in 1995. In a sensitivity analysis by Dhuyvetter et al. (2005) net return from pr econditioning ranged from $1.88/head to $19.40/head. Estimated net return for preconditioned calves was $12.94/head when the premium for preconditioned calves was $4/ cwt; this estimate repres ents a 22.7% return on investment. In recent years, process and source verification programs have received a lot of attention within the industry as possible means to improve pr ofitability. Process verification is one of the factors affecting calf performance that cattle buyers are willing to pay a premium for. Source verification has been shown to increase calf valu e as well. Source verification may indirectly result in improvements in performance when dea ling with reputable producers. However, it is more commonly used to qualify cattle for marketing programs th at pay premiums for source verified cattle at harvest. These programs were implemented to provide traceability for consumers that value that information and to help regain export markets.

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23 Shrink Differences due to Preconditioning Research has shown variati on in transportation shrink be tween preconditioned and nonpreconditioned calves. There are m any benefits to reducing the amount of shrink when selling calves or when retaining ownership. Calves with lower shrink values are more likely to start eating after receiving and may also respond bett er to revaccination. Pritchard and Mendez (1990) found mixed results of preconditioning on transit shrink. In two trials that evaluated a total of 600 calves from four ranches, preconditioning reduced transit shrink in Experiment I, but caused greater shrink in Experiment II. The researchers noted that management, ranch, and management x ranch interactions accounted for more variation in shrink than preconditioning. This indicates that the manner in which calves are handled at the ranch may have a greater impact on shrink than preconditioning, even when preconditioning is capable of reducing shrink losses. Factors Affecting Calf Value Weight Calf weight is one of the biggest drivers in determ ining the price paid per pound for calves. Price differentials between light weight calves a nd heavy feeder cattle is amplified in geographic regions that are not in close proxi mity to commercial cattle feedi ng operations. In general, there is a decrease in the price paid per pound as weight increases. However, the impact on price of an additional pound of weight decreases as weight increases (Sartwelle et al. 1996). Current market conditions associated with high feed costs have altered this relati onship in recent years. Due to the fact that gains can typically be achieved more economica lly on grass than in the feedlot, placement weights have increased, and the price differential between weight classes of cattle have decreased.

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24 Brahman Percentage Effects of Bos indicus breeding on feedlot and carcass pe rform ance have been evaluated and debated for many years. It is well documen ted that calves that e xhibit phenotypic evidence of Bos indicus influence are discounted in the marketpl ace (Minert et al. 1988). Physical traits associated with Bos indicus breeding, such as ear length, nave l area, and hump height, can be easily recognized allowing discrimination. Whethe r real or perceived, th ere are several reasons for the discount associated with these calves. Some of the primary reasons that Bos indicus cattle are discounted are dispos ition, lower feedlot performan ce, lower carcass quality, and problems associated with meat tenderness. Thes e issues have plagued producers who operate in environments that necessitate the use of Bos indicus genetics for years. Disposition of Bos indicus influenced cattle has been quest ioned for years. In a trial conducted by Voisinet et al. (1997) cattle were assigned a temperament score based on individual animal reactions to confinement and isolation in a non-restrain ing single-animal scale crate. Crossbred cattle with 25% or greater Brahman breeding had a higher mean temperament rating (3.46) than Bos taurus cattle (1.80) on a scale of 1 to 5. The authors also noted that as temperament rating increased, ADG d ecreased with th e exception of Bos indicus cross cattle with a temperament score of 1. Research condu cted by Australian researchers (Hearnshaw and Morris, 1984; Fordyce et al. 1988) also show ed an increase in temperament score for Bos indicus x Bos taurus crossbred cattle when compared to Bos taurus cattle. Average daily gain (ADG) decreased as Brahma n percentage increased in steers adjusted to a constant slaughter weight by Sherbeck et al. (1995). Values for ADG were 1.83, 1.64, and 1.53 kg for Hereford, 75% Hereford x 25% Br ahman, and 50% Hereford x 50% Brahman, respectively. It should be noted that these cattle were fed in Colorado, which may favor Bos taurus cattle from an environmental standpoint. Rs earch at the University of Florida conducted

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25 by Peacock et al. (1982) to eval uate the additive genetic eff ects of breed and heterosis, determined that Brahman breed effects were negative for ADG. However, a later 2-yr study by Huffman et al. (1990) evaluated st eers fed in Florida during the cool season and warm season. Results showed that ADG for 50% Brahman x 50% Angus and 75% Brahman x 25% Angus steers was significantly greater th an Angus steers and numerically greater than 25% Brahman x 75% Angus steers. Differences in ADG were the result of increased dry matter intake (DMI) during the feeding period suggesti ng that Brahman influenced cattl e will continue to eat when fed in hot climates. No differences in feed efficiency were observed. Typical discounts for Brahman influenced calv es have been reported by Sartwelle et al. (1996). Upper medium framed steers with less than 25% Brahman or more than 25% Brahman were discounted $1.65/cwt and $6.00/cwt, respec tively when compared to similar framed Hereford steers. Crouse et al. (1989) found that as the percentage of Bos indicus inheritance increased, marbling scores decreased, Warner-Bratzler shea r (WBS) force values increased, and sensory panel tenderness scores decreased. Bos indicus breed crosses were also more variable in tenderness than Bos taurus breed crosses. Research conducte d by Sherbeck et. al. (1996) found that taste panel tenderness rati ngs decreased and WBS force valu es increased as both phenotypic estimation of Brahman breed characteristics and hump height increased. However, neither live animal phenotype nor carcass hump height were correlated with marbling score. Nevertheless, advantages in environmental adaptability to the humid sub-tropics of the Southern United States as well as increases in heterosis will continue to demand the used of Bos indicus genetics.

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26 Condition Score Condition scoring of feeder calv es is a relatively new concept. However, cattle buyers have been using calf condition as a price determ inant for years. Research conducted by Minert et al. (1988) showed that fleshy steers were discounted in the spring. However, fleshy steers brought a premium in the fall while thin steers were discou nted. The authors noted that the difference may be due to the perception that fl eshy steers will winter well, while thin steers may pose a potential health risk when placed on feed in the fall. There is certainly a market premium for healthy calves that exhibit less condition. Premiums are associated with the fact that these calves are considered to have greater efficiency of gain than calves that are al ready fleshy. Evaluating condition on feeder calves may be the best way to evaluate the previous nu tritional history of the calf when that information is not provided. Ca lves of known genetics that have a documented health program and are thin due to limited availa bility of nutrients certa inly have a great amount of potential in the feeding segmen t of the industry. However, care must be taken to ensure that these thin calves are in fact healthy. In a trial by Trenkle et al. (2001) calves were sorted in to two groups based on backfat measurement when started on feed. The authors realized that the calves that had less initial backfat were $25.47/hd more profitable in the feed lot than the fatter steers. Based on a $40/hd feedlot profit, the steers with more initial backfat should have been discounted about $5.00/cwt compared to the leaner steers. Sex Differences in perform ance between steers a nd heifers have been documented for many years. In a recent evaluation of 1,752 pens of he ifers and 4,549 pens of steers, researchers at Kansas State University found differences between the profitability of steers and heifers was partially explained by differences in feed conve rsion and average daily gain (Williams et al.

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27 1993). Feed conversion accounted for 8.7 to 12.6 per cent of the variation in profit while average daily gain accounted for 9.6 to 15.9 percent of the variation across different weight classes. The authors also acknowledged that th e price paid for and received for steers and heifers accounted for more variation in profitability than actual performance. Differences in the price paid for steers and heifers are well docume nted. Earlier research by Minert et al. (1988) determined that the discount for a 550 lb heifer was $6.71/cwt when compared to a steer of similar weight when both were marketed in the fall. However, the price differential between heifers and st eers diminishes as weight incr eases. Heifers lighter than 550 lbs were discounted more than $6.71/cwt while heif ers heavier than 550 lbs we re discounted less. All weight classes still exhibite d a significant price difference betw een heifers and steers in both fall and spring. Increased risks associated with pregnancy and estrus activity are two of the reasons that heifers are discounted. Pregnant heifers typically exhibit lowe r levels of performance. Kreikemeier and Unruh (1993) discover ed that 4.74% of feed lot heifers were pregnant at harvest. These heifers exhibited lighter carcass weights, greater fat thickness, higher carcass maturity scores, and increased quality grade. The author s noted that any advantage in quality grade was offset by increased backfat and lower dressing percentage. While still in the feedlot, the primary risk is associated with death as well as the incr eased incidence of dystocia, prolapse, and retained fetal membranes. These factors result in increas ed labor costs and may also require antibiotic treatment which may result in an extended withdr awal period. Economic losses due to increased activity of heifers in estrus and the risk of injury due to estr us behavior are also partially responsible for the price differential. Thes e concessions may be pr evented or reduced by

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28 palpating heifers at receiving, f eeding a progestin, or spaying. However, there are costs and risk associated with these practices as well. It should also be noted that f eeder heifers are typically those females that for some reason were not selected as replacement heifers. In some cases, the heifers that are heavier, more phenotypically correct, and have greater genetic potential are retained on the ranch while the lesser quality heifers are sold as feeders. This is not always the case beca use the heifers that are fed may have stronger growth and carcass characteristics while the heifers that are retained have been selected for maternal traits. Calf-crops th at are terminally sired, wh ere that entire group is fed and no replacements are kept, are obviously excluded from this concept. Coat Color Color, not breed, is a very im portant, if not the most important, arbiter of the premium in todays cattle market (Cattle Fax, 1995) However, in a four year trial Loerch et al. (2001) found that hide color did not affect gains, final weight s, or hot carcass weights. Cattle Fax (1995) has reported a premium for non-Angus black-hided calves of $1.93/cwt for steer calves of the same weight class. Color Pattern There is a lim ited amount of data regard ing the performance of cattle based on color pattern. However, calves are disc ounted in the marketplace for having specific color patterns. Color pattern is a qualitative tra it that can be easily recognized and therefor e lends itself to discrimination. Methodology behind discounting cat tle based on their body pa ttern is rooted in the fact that buyers believe that they can id entify the presence of substandard genetics by evaluating body pattern. Spotted ca ttle may be discounted because of the perceived influence of Longhorn or Holstein genetics. Calves that exhi bit brindle coat charact eristics are assumed to have a high level of Bos indicus influence even if other phenot ypic traits do not exhibit those

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29 characteristics. Blue necked cattle are many ti mes discounted because of the belief that they carry Andalusian type genetics. However, the genetics of coat color a nd pattern are much more complex. Hair Shedding Characteristics Characteristics of the coat have been shown to have a significant im pact on heat tolerance and growth rate in cattle by Turner and Schleger (1960). Research relating coat characteristics of Angus and Hereford cattle to winter feedlot perf orm ance in Canada found that none of the hair coat characteristics evaluated were strongly associated with 168-d post-weaning gain (Gilbert and Bailey, 1991). This information leads to the a ssumption that characteristics of the coat have a greater effect on performance duri ng periods of long term heat stre ss than long term cold stress. It may be easier for cattle to adapt to cold temperatures than hot temperatures. Age Differences in feedlot perform ance and car cass characteristics be tween calf-fed and yearling cattle are well known throughout the b eef cattle industry. Research conducted by Schoonmaker et al. (2002) eval uated the differences in feed lot performance and carcass characteristics of calves placed in the feedlot at 111, 202, or 371 d of age. Results showed that ADG during the feedlot phase was greater for year ling cattle when compared to traditionally or early weaned calves (1.88, 1.68, a nd 1.62 kg/d, respectively). However, the early weaned calves were more efficient at converting feed to gain, followed by traditionally weaned calves which were significantly more efficient than yearlings (227, 208, and 180 g of gain/kg of feed, respectively). The authors also noted a difference in DOF (221, 190, and 163 d, respectively) and daily DMI (7.1, 8.1, and 10.5 kg/d, respectively ) for calves weaned at 111, 202, or 371 d of age.

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30 Technology Utilization to Improve Performance Sorting Marketing f inished beef cattle based on carca ss value rather than as a commodity will require cattle feeders to improve uniformity of cattle within loads in order to optimize the value of the cattle in a given grid (Trenkle, 2001). This sentiment has resounded throughout the beef cattle industry in the past few years. Many cat tle feeders are now utilizing individual animal management practices to capture the maximum valu e from each calf. It is obvious that each calf cannot be harvested on the exact day that optimizes its profitability. However, sorting is a tool that allows cattle to be assembled into groups according to their optimal harvest date. Sorting does not need to pinpoint each animals profit op timum to result in economic gains. Increasing HCW and decreasing carcass discounts will improve profitability (Pyatt et al. 2005). Gresham et al. (2000) indicated that so rting feeder calves into uniform lots would result in an increased value of approximately $3.75 per carcass cwt. Research of the ACCU-TRAC Electronic Cattle Management System indicated an advantage of $23.69/hd for cattle managed to indi vidual marketing dates rather than average marketing dates (Micro Beef, 2006). The ECM system combines multiple objective measurements such as weight, ultrasound for intern al tissue characteristics, and video imaging of external dimensions to provide optimum individual animal management. This information along with growth and performance models utilizing the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System allow for accurate prediction of individual animal performance. Information gathered from the ECM is utilized to sort cattle into outcome groups by harvest date for optimal individual profitability. Cattle may also be sorted into different marketing groups based on ECM information.

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31 Electronic Identification Electronic identif ication (EID), or radio frequency identifi cation (RFID), can been used to quickly and accurately capture individual animal information throughout the supply chain. Automated data capture and record keeping can be achieved using EID with the use of a database. Databases also facilitate the tracking a nd traceability functions that EID is valued for. Feedlots and packing plants have utilized EI D technology for many years to accurately manage and identify individuals. Sim ilar technology has been used in ot her industries as well, including automated toll payments, product tr acking in libraries, and inventor y systems for Wal-Mart. EID has received increased attention in the United States since Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered. Threat of foreign animal di seases, such as foot and mouth disease, have also spurred on the development of a national animal identifica tion plan utilizing EID. Some countries have been using the same or similar technologies for years to facilitate individual animal tracking. There are several different types of EID devi ces available to beef cattle producers. The more common EID devices are rumen boluses an d ear tags. Utilization of subcutaneous microchips has been limited in food producing animals because devices placed under the skin may migrate through the animal and potentially contaminate the food supply. Removal of implanted microchips at harvest is an intricate and sometimes time consuming process. Conill et al. (2000) reported that 31.9% to 91.1% of injectable transponders were recovered from muscle tissue at harvest. Additionally, 8.9% to 23.4% were recovered on the internal side of the hide. Mean transponder recovery time for different implant locations ranged from 27 to 75 sec. Rumen boluses and microchips have some limita tions due to the fact that they cannot be seen with the naked eye in the live animal. Whether or not a tr ansponder has been lost or has failed cannot be determined for these devices without surgical procedures. Rumen boluses have

PAGE 32

32 been shown to have varied retention rates based on weight, volume, and specific gravity, however, retention rates of 100% were obtainable (Ghirardi et al 2006). Research conducted by Antonini et al. (2006) sh owed that the mechanical actions of chewing and regurgitation may be altered by the application of ruminal transponders. However, there were no negative effects on milk production, reproductive traits, or bodyweight ga in. Ruminal boluses also have a limitation because they cannot be easily extracted when the an imal is harvested. Inst ances of cattle being implanted with multiple devices has also been ob served in these technologies, especially in individuals that frequently cha nge ownership. For these reason s, electronic ear tags have become the preferred choice for cattlemen in the United States. Utilization of EID ear tags has been seen in the beef industry for years as a means of identifying cattle both in the feedlot and on the ra il. Use of EID has allowed feedlots to manage cattle on an individual basis and facilitated chan ges in the marketing of fed cattle from a live basis to an individual carcass ba sis. The EID ear tags are eas y to apply and easy to read. Furthermore, many ear tags have the individual animal identification number printed on the tag in case of tag failure or instances where a reader is not available. Re tention rates for EID ear tags have been acceptable and exceed rete ntion rates of traditional ear tags. All EID transponders marketed in the United St ates must meet International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards 11784 a nd 11785 which utilize the low frequency 134.2 kHz band. Most of the tags on the market today ar e a passive tag, which m eans that they do not contain their own power source. Electrical current induced in the antenna from the reading device provides power for the tran sponder to transmit a response. Unique identification numbers are hard coded into the chip as part of the ma nufacturing process and cannot be altered, which provides a high level of authenticity.

PAGE 33

33 Within the realm of low frequency EID trans ponders there are half-duplex (HDX) and fullduplex (FDX) technologies. Differences between these technologies are that FDX transponders send a continuous return signal as long as the interrogation signal from the reader is maintained. Transponders utilizing HDX technology send a return signal at the end of th e interrogation signal which allows the storage capacitor to become fu lly charged emitting a stronger return signal with a longer read range. It should be noted that HDX transponders are somewhat more expensive. There are many different types of EID read ers available to producers. Readers are responsible for sending the interroga tion signal to the transponder. Simple models are hand held with no memory capability and simply read and display the EID number. More complex readers consist of several integrated panels that read simultaneously in multiple adjacent lanes so that cattle can be moved at the speed of commerce. Read ranges typically span from inches in the simple models for chute side application in rest rained animals, up to 3 ft in the more complex multi-lane systems that are capable of handling cat tle at virtually any speed. One limitation to the reading system is that cattle must pass the reader in single file to ensure that two animals do not enter the signal field at the same time. This is the reason for multiple lane systems in areas of high cattle volume. Tethered and cordless reader models are ava ilable. Tethered models download information as it is received while cordless models are capa ble of storing and downloading data at a later time. Some cordless readers have Bluetooth capability which allows for real time data transfer without a cord.

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34 CHAPTER 3 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CH ARAC TERISTICS ON PRECONDITIONING PERFORMANCE Introduction It has been dem onstrated by Mine rt et al. (1988) that individual animal characteristics such as sex, Brahman percentage, and condition score have an effect on the price received for calves. Reasons for price differentiation due to these ch aracteristics are based on the belief that these characteristics affect animal performance. Howe ver, the effects of these economically important characteristics have not been extensivel y evaluated during the preconditioning period. Qualitative characteristics such as coat color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics are commonly used as an indicato r of animal performance as well. Across the country, calves receive discounts or premiums based on the characte ristics of their hair coat. Many producers believe that these ch aracteristics are solely used to discriminate against certain types of cattle. Nevertheless, many cattle buye rs, stocker operators, feedlot operators, and packers stand behind the claim that these qual itative characteristics have an impact on subsequent performance. The objective of this experiment was to evalua te the effects of weaning weight, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, coat color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics on average daily gain during the preconditioning period. Materials and Methods Cow/calf pairs were g athered off pasture in the morning from a large commercial cow/calf operation in South Florida. St eers (n=1,575) and heifers (n=1,550) were separated from their dams and shipped approximately 370 km to a precondi tioning facility in North Central Florida. Calving season was between October 10, 2003 and February 10, 2004. All calves originated

PAGE 35

35 from the same ranch and had been exposed to similar pre-weaning management practices that included knife castration, dehorning, and vaccination at approximately 2 to 4 months of age. All calves were vaccinated on the ranch of origin with Cattlemaster 4 and Ultraback 8. Heifers were calf-hood vaccinated against Brucella abortus An injectable dewormer (Dectomax) and a topical fly control (Saber) were also administered, and calves were implanted with Ralgo. Calves were received at the preconditioning fa cility in nine shipments across a 15-d period beginning on July 27th, 2004 and ending on August 10th, 2004. Approximately 350 calves were received in each shipment. Calves were shipped from the ranch between 0900 and 1200 and arrived at the preconditioning yard between 1200 and 1700. Upon arrival, calves were offered hay and water ad libitum. Hay consumption wa s rarely noted between arrival and processing. Immediately prior to processing, calves were sorted into groups based on sex and weight class. Sex classes were feeder steer, feeder heifer, and replacement heifer. Weight classes of small, medium, and large were also determ ined. Processing began between 1730 and 1830 each evening and continued until the entire shipment was processed. Calves were processed at an average rate of 89 hd/hr. During processing calves were vaccinated us ing a modified live vaccine for IBR, BVD, PI3, and BRSV (Bovi-Shield GOLD) for respiratory disease, a bacterin toxoid (ONE SHOT) to prevent bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis, an d an 8-way clostridial vaccine (Ultra ChoiceTM 8). An injectable avermectin anthelmentic includin g clorsulon for treatment of liver flukes (Ivomec Plus) was administered according to weight clas s. Calves also received a vitamin B complex injection and were mass medicated with Tilmicosin (Micotil 300) according to label directions. Calves were treated topically wi th lambdacyhalothrin (Saber) to suppress horn flies and lice.

PAGE 36

36 Color coded ear tags containing the lot and indivi dual animal number were applied in the right ear and a low-frequency half dupl ex electronic id entification (EID ) unit was placed in the left ear. Calves were also branded with a fire brand on the left hip for ownership identification. Average processing cost was $14.76/hd, not including labor. During processing each animal was evaluate d by two evaluators who classified each animal on the phenotypic evidence of Brahman per centage, condition score, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics. Estimated Brahman percentage was categorized sim ilarly to that of Sherbeck et al. (1996). Brahman percentage was estimated to be 0, 1/ 8, 1/4, or 3/8 Brahman influence. Phenotypic evaluations of Brahman percenta ge were made based on the visu al appearance of the underline and size of the hump. Length, shape, and orienta tion of the ear were also used to estimate Brahman percentage. Actual Brahman percentage of individual animals was unknown. However, evaluators were aware of the calfs sire breed and dam type. Condition scores were based on similar scori ng done by Grona et al. (2002), and were assigned using a 9-point scoring sy stem and categorized as extremely thin, thin, moderately thin, slightly thin, average, sligh tly fleshy, moderately fleshy, fl eshy, and extremely fleshy (USDA, 1995). Extremes in condition score were not obs erved. Only two calves were classified less than slightly thin and none were classified greater than slightly fleshy. Therefore, only slightly thin, average, and slightly fl eshy categories were evaluated. Color was based on the predominant color of the animal similar to Loerch et al. (2001) and categorized as black, red, yellow, grey, or white. Color pattern was established as either solid patterned or non-solid patterned. Non-solid color patterned calv es included spotted, roan, or brindle color patterns. Spotted calves were categorized only when white markings extended

PAGE 37

37 behind the point of the shoulder or above the fl ank. White-faced, Hereford type calves were considered solid patterned. Hair shedding characteristics were clas sified as shed, partially shed, or non-shed (Thrift et al., 1994). During processing 0.4% of calves were castrated. No designa tion was made between these calves and calves that were castrated on the ra nch in the subsequent evaluation. Horns were tipped on 1.0% of the calves evaluated. Calves were individually wei ghed automatically by a Digistar digital scale with load cells underneath the processing chute. This wei ght was considered to be a shrunk weight and was designated as weaning weight ( WW). Scales were calibrated and set to weigh calves in 2.25 kg increments. Calves EID number s were captured using an Allfex RS250 Series Stick Reader. Weights and EID were automatically downloaded into a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet using WinWedge RS232 Data Acquisition Software for Windows. After processing calves were placed in 2.02 ha pastures by sex and weight class for weaning and environmental acclimation. Water in these pastures was treated with amprolium (Corid) according to label dosage to reduce the incide nce of coccidiosis. After 5 d calves were moved to 8.09 ha pastures and rotated among pastur es as forage availability dictated for the duration of the preconditioning program. Calves were fed a low concentrate starter ration containing monensin sodium (Rumensin) and tylosin tartrate (Tylan) with a target dry matter intake of 3% of live bodyweight. Calves were fed in the morning in metal bunks allowing 20 cm of bunk space per animal, and typically reached target consumption by d14. Calves that showed signs of respiratory dise ase were treated in the pasture with ceftiofur sodium (Naxcel) according to label directions using Ballistivet technology. Calves that had to be treated more than twice we re given enrofloxacin (Baytril) according to label directions and

PAGE 38

38 drenched with amprolium (Corid). Death loss during preconditioning was 0.6%, and 0.4% were sold as realizers before shipping to th e feedlot. Morbidity during preconditioning ranged from 2.1% to 9.5% depending on lot and averaged 5.0% across lots. At the end of the preconditioning period, calv es were gathered in the morning, group weighed, and loaded onto trucks. Duration of the preconditioning period ranged from 34-d to 51-d with a mean number of days preconditioned equal to 42.9-d. Heifers selected as replacements were shipped back to the ranch of or igin. Feeder calves in the small weight class were shipped to a stocker operation before entering the feedlot. Feeder calves in the medium weight class were shipped to a feedlot where data on individual animals was not collected. Therefore, the previously mentioned calves were not utilized in further analysis. Only feeder steers (n = 1,100) and feeder heif ers (n = 421) in the large weight class were analyzed in this study. Calves were shipped 2,365 km to a feedlot in western Kansas that utilized the Micro Beef Technologies ACCU-TRAC Electronic Cattle Management ( ECM ) system. Four shipments of calves were delivered over a 5-d period. An av erage of 313 calves were shipped in each group. Upon arrival in Kansas, calves were rested fo r 24-h and offered hay and water ad libitum. Calves were shipped to the feedlot by sex and weight class, therefor e, no sorting was done upon arrival in the feedlot. At th e initial feedlot processing, the calfs individual EID number was recorded. Existing ear tags fr om preconditioning were record ed as a secondary means of identification and then removed. New color code d ear tags with the feedlot lot and individual number were applied. Calves were weighed individually at initial feedlot processing. This weight plus 6% shrink was considered the endi ng weight of the prec onditioning phase and was used to calculate preconditioning gain.

PAGE 39

39 Data were analyzed using the GLM least squa res analysis of varian ce procedures of SAS (2003). The model included the main effects of weaning weight, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics. All two-way interactions found to be significan t at P<0.10 for a particular variab le were included in the model for that variable. Linear re gression analysis was performed on all continuous variables. Results and Discussion Weaning Weight Preconditioning average daily gain ( PCADG ) was affected (P<0.0001) by WW (Figure 31). Calves that had heavier WW had decreased PCADG compared to calves that were lighter at weaning. Linear regression analysis reveal ed that PCADG decreased by 0.45 kg/d for each additional 100 kg of WW. Calves with greater WW are typically believed to be heavier due to greater gain potential (Woodward et al., 1959). However, increases in WW have been shown to be due to differences in age (Pell and Tha yne, 1978; Minyard and Di nkle, 1965), which could exceed 120 d in this trial. Mate rnal effects, such as milk production may also influence WW (Christian et al., 1965) without affecting PCADG. Heavier cal ves may be fatter which could help explain the negative impact on PCADG (Christian et al., 1965). Brahman Percentage As estim ated Brahman percentage increas ed, an increase (P<0.01) in PCADG was observed (Figure 3-2). Calves estimated to be 3/8 Brahman had greater (P<0.005) PCADG than both 1/8 and 1/4 Brahman cattle. However, cal ves that were estimated to have 0 Brahman percentage had intermediate PCADG values that were similar (P=0.27) to all other levels of Brahman. Linear regression an alysis indicated that PCADG in creased (P<0.05) by 0.03 kg/d as estimated Brahman percentage increased by 1/8. Differences in PCADG resulted in an extra 3.1

PAGE 40

40 kg of live weight gain for 3/8 Brahman calves when compared to 0 Brahman calves during the preconditioning period. Differences in PCADG due to Brahman per centage are logical for calves that are preconditioned in Florida during the summer mont hs. Huffman et al. (1990) suggests that Brahman influenced cattle consume more feed than Bos taurus cattle when fed in hot climates. The authors suggested that increased dry matte r intake during the feeding period resulted in greater ADG for Brahman influenced cattle. Heat st ress plays an important ro le in the ability of cattle to gain weight in tropica l and sub-tropical environments. Warwick reported on the effect of heat stress on bodyweight gain as early as 1958. Alkire and Thri ft (2005) showed an increase in PCADG for calves that e xhibit greater than 20% Bos indicus breeding that they attributed to heat tolerance and heterosis differences. Condition Score There was a tendency (P=0.07) for PCADG to d ecline as con dition score increased (Figure 3-3). Calves that were categorized as sligh tly thin had PCADG of 0.43 kg/d. Whereas average condition calves had PCADG that was 0.03 kg/d less than slightly thin calves and 0.06 kg/d greater than slightly fleshy calve s. Further analysis revealed a decrease (P<0.05) in PCADG of 0.04 kg/d for each unit increase in condition scor e. Trenkle (2001) found that performance differences between feeder calves sorted by ultrasound backfat resulted in a theoretical $5/100 lbs of bodyweight discount for fatter steers. He al so showed that calves with less backfat tended to have greater bodyweight gain than calves with more backfat. Sex Steers and heifers had sim ilar (P=0.66) PCADG (Figure 3-4). Savell et al. (2007) found no differences in 42-d PCADG between steers and he ifers. However, Alkire and Thrift (2005) observed a tendency for steers to have greater PCADG than heifers in a similar 42-d trial (0.67

PAGE 41

41 and 0.59 kg/d, respectively). Both of these expe riments were conducted using the entire calf crop including replacement females. Differences in feedlot average daily gain ( ADG ) between steers and heifers have been reported by Williams et al. (1993). However, Ma rion et al. (1980) reported similar feedlot ADG values for steers and heifers. Previous research supports the fact that differences do exist in certain situations. However, the complexity of the preconditioning period, coupled with a short time interval, reduced the effect of se x on gain performance in this study. Differences observed in the lite rature may be explained by the fact that feeder heifers are typically those females that for some reason were not selected as replacement heifers. In some cases, the heifers that are heavie r, more phenotypically correct, a nd have greater genetic potential are retained on the ranch while the lesser quality heif ers are sold as feeders. This is not always the case because the heifers that are fed may have stronger growth and carcass characteristics while the heifers that are retained have been selected for maternal traits. Calf-crops that are terminally sired, where the entire group is fed and no replacements are kept, are obviously excluded from this concept. Coat Color Calf coat color affected PCADG (P<0.005, Fi gure 3-5). The P CADG of calves with a white hair coat was 0.18 kg/d less (P<0.05) compar ed to calves of all other observed colors. Black, red, yellow, and grey coated calves had similar (P>0.10) PCADG. It is worth mentioning that the white calves were predom inantly straight bred continen tal type calves with a heavy influence of Charolais genetics. These calves may lack the en vironmental adaptability and heterosis benefits of thei r crossbred contemporaries. Coat color is a trait that ha s received significant attention recently in the beef industry. Generally, black cattle receive a premium based on the perceived influenc e of Angus genetics.

PAGE 42

42 In a comprehensive survey by Cattle Fax (1995) a $1.93/cwt premium for black hided steers was reported. Results of the current study would suggest that performance during the preconditioning period was affected minimally by coat color. It should be noted that in th is study it was not possible to evaluate color differences on cattle of similar genetic composition. In other wo rds, coat color is a f unction of the breed or breed crosses represented in each animal. Since the breed of dam was not known for any of these calves, it was not possible to stratify by bree d type. Results presente d as effects of color should be interpreted as includi ng the possible effects of the breed or breed combinations that may potentially produce those colors. Color Pattern Color pattern (Figure 3-6) had no im pact on PCADG of calves in this trial (P=0.31). Calves that are spotted, roan, or brindle are typically discounted in the marketplace due to the perception that these cattle may contain inferior genetics. This study sugge sts that color pattern has no negative effect on PCADG for cal ves that have been managed similarly. Coat Shedding Characteristics Coat shedding characteristics did not aff ect PCADG (P=0.25, Figure 3-7). However, calves that were still carrying a heavy coat and had not initiated hair shedding had PCADG that was num erically 0.09 kg/d less than calves that we re partially or completely shed. Decreased PCADG in non-shed calves may be a result of in creased heat stress associated with the heavy hair coat. Non-shed coats may result in an inab ility to effectively dissipate the increased heat increment associated with the preconditioning diet and subsequent increased growth rate. Differences in characteristics of the coat have been shown by Turner and Schleger (1960) to cause significant differences in heat tolerance and growth rate.

PAGE 43

43 Implications Calves are routinely assigned a discount or premium based on Brahman influence, body condition, sex, color, color pattern, and hair sh edding characteristics. When preconditioning calves for a short time period in hot climates, our data suggests that increasing Brahman influence up to 3/8 improved performance. Incr eases in body condition score negatively affected PCADG, whereas sex class had no effect on PCADG. Characteristics of the coat such as color, color pattern, and shedding characteristics had a minimal effect on preconditioning performance.

PAGE 44

44 Figure 3-1. Effect of weaning weight on precond itioning average daily gain. Linear regression slope=-0.0045, P<0.001. Figure 3-2. Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on preconditioning average daily gain. Main effect P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=0.07, P<0.05.

PAGE 45

45 Figure 3-3. Effect of condition score on precond itioning average daily ga in. Main effect P=0.07. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.10. Linear re gression slope=-0.09, P<0.05. Figure 3-4. Effect of sex on prec onditioning average daily gain. P=0.66.

PAGE 46

46 Figure 3-5. Effect of coat color on preconditioning average daily gain. P<0.001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 3-6. Effect of color pattern on preconditioning average daily gain. P=0.31.

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47 Figure 3-7. Effect of hair sh edding characteristics on preconditioning average daily gain. P=0.25.

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48 CHAPTER 4 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTERISTICS AND PRECONDITIONING PERFORM ANCE ON FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE Introduction In m any cases the preconditioning period is the first opportunity to evaluate the performance of calves on an individual basis with out the masking effects of their dam. This is also a time where calves are subjected to identic al treatments and each has the same opportunity to perform. For these reasons the preconditioning period provides an opportunity to evaluate calves under similar management before entering th e feedlot. There are ma ny factors that effect preconditioning performance that may or may not be associated with feedlot performance. It has been demonstrated by Mine rt et al. (1988) that individual animal characteristics such as sex, Brahman percentage, and condition score have an effect on the price received for calves. Reasons for price differentiation due to these ch aracteristics are based on the belief that these characteristics affect animal performance. Howe ver, the effects of these economically important characteristics have not been extensivel y evaluated during the preconditioning period. Qualitative characteristics such as coat color, body pattern, and hair shedding characteristics are commonly used as an indicato r of animal performance as well. Across the country, calves receive discounts or premiums based on the characte ristics of their hair coat. Many producers believe that these ch aracteristics are solely used to discriminate against certain types of cattle. Nevertheless, many cattle buye rs, stocker operators, feedlot operators, and packers stand behind the claim that these qual itative characteristics have an impact on subsequent performance. The objective of this experiment was to evalua te the effects of weaning weight, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, coat color, color pattern, and hair shedding

PAGE 49

49 characteristics on subsequent feedlot performance. In a ddition, this study evaluated the effect of daily gain during the preconditioning period on feedlot performance. Materials and Methods Cow/calf pairs were g athered off pasture in the morning from a large commercial cow/calf operation in South Florida. St eers (n=1,575) and heifers (n=1,550) were separated from their dams and shipped approximately 370 km to a precondi tioning facility in North Central Florida. Calving season was between October 10, 2003 and February 10, 2004. All calves originated from the same ranch and had been exposed to similar pre-weaning management practices that included knife castration, dehorning, and vaccination at approximately 2 to 4 months of age. All calves were vaccinated on the ranch of origin with Cattlemaster 4 and Ultraback 8. Heifers were calf-hood vaccinated against Brucella abortus An injectable dewormer (Dectomax) and a topical fly control (Saber) were also administered, and calves were implanted with Ralgo. Calves were received at the preconditioning fa cility in nine shipments across a 15-d period beginning on July 27th, 2004 and ending on August 10th, 2004. Approximately 350 calves were received in each shipment. Calves were shipped from the ranch between 0900 and 1200 and arrived at the preconditioning yard between 1200 and 1700. Upon arrival, calves were offered hay and water ad libitum. Hay consumption wa s rarely noted between arrival and processing. Immediately prior to processing, calves were sorted into groups based on sex and weight class. Sex classes were feeder steer, feeder heifer, and replacement heifer. Weight classes of small, medium, and large were also determin ed. Processing began between 1730 and 1830 each evening and continued until the entire shipment was processed. Calves were processed at an average rate of 89 hd/hr. During processing calves were vaccinated us ing a modified live vaccine for IBR, BVD, PI3, and BRSV (Bovi-Shield GOLD) for respiratory disease, a bacterin toxoid (ONE SHOT)

PAGE 50

50 to prevent bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis, an d an 8-way clostridial vaccine (Ultra ChoiceTM 8). An injectable avermectin anthelmentic includin g clorsulon for treatment of liver flukes (Ivomec Plus) was administered according to weight clas s. Calves also received a vitamin B complex injection and were mass medicated with Tilmicosin (Micotil 300) according to label directions. Calves were treated topically wi th lambdacyhalothrin (Saber) to suppress horn flies and lice. Color coded ear tags containing the lot and indivi dual animal number were applied in the right ear and a low-frequency half dupl ex electronic id entification (EID ) unit was placed in the left ear. Calves were also branded with a fire brand on the left hip for ownership identification. Average processing cost was $14.76/hd, not including labor. During processing each animal was evaluate d by two evaluators who classified each animal on the phenotypic evidence of Brahman per centage, condition score, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics. Estimated Brahman percentage was categorized sim ilarly to that of Sherbeck et al. (1996). Brahman percentage was estimated to be 0, 1/ 8, 1/4, or 3/8 Brahman influence. Phenotypic evaluations of Brahman percenta ge were made based on the visu al appearance of the underline and size of the hump. Length, shape, and orienta tion of the ear were also used to estimate Brahman percentage. Actual Brahman percentage of individual animals was unknown. However, evaluators were aware of the calfs sire breed and dam type. Condition scores were based on similar scori ng done by Grona et al. (2002), and were assigned using a 9-point scoring sy stem and categorized as extremely thin, thin, moderately thin, slightly thin, average, sligh tly fleshy, moderately fleshy, fl eshy, and extremely fleshy (USDA, 1995). Extremes in condition score were not obs erved. Only two calves were classified less

PAGE 51

51 than slightly thin and none were classified greater than slightly fleshy. Therefore, only slightly thin, average, and slightly fl eshy categories were evaluated. Color was based on the predominant color of the animal similar to Loerch et al. (2001) and categorized as black, red, yellow, grey, or wh ite. Color pattern was established as either solid patterned or non-so lid patterned. Non-solid color patterned calves included spotted, roan, or brindle color patterns. Spo tted calves were categorized only when white markings extended behind the point of the shoulder or above the fl ank. White-faced, Hereford type calves were considered solid patterned. Ha ir shedding characteris tics were based on previous work done by Thrift et al (1994) and were classified as shed, pa rtially shed, or non-shed. Calves were individually wei ghed automatically by a Digistar digital scale with load cells underneath the processing chute. This wei ght was considered to be a shrunk weight and was designated as weaning weight ( WW). Scales were calibrated and set to weigh calves in 2.25 kg increments. Calves EID number s were captured using an Allfex RS250 Series Stick Reader. Weights and EID were automatically downloaded into a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet using WinWedge RS232 Data Acquisition Software for Windows. After processing calves were turned out in 2.02 ha pastures by sex and weight class for weaning and environmental acclimation. Water in these pastures was treated with amprolium (Corid) according to label dosage to reduce the incide nce of coccidiosis. After 5 d calves were moved to 8.09 ha pastures and rotated across pastures as forage availability dictated for the duration of the preconditioning program. Calves were fed a low concentrate starter ration containing monensin sodium (Rumensin) and tylosin tartrate (Tylan) with a target dry matter intake set at 3% of live bodywei ght (Table 1, Appendix). Calves were fed in the morning in

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52 metal bunks allowing 20 cm of bunk space per animal and typically reached target consumption by d14. Calves that showed signs of respiratory dise ase were treated in the pasture with ceftiofur sodium (Naxcel) according to label directions using Ballistivet technology. Calves that had to be treated more than twice we re given enrofloxacin (Baytril) according to label directions and drenched with amprolium (Corid). Death loss during preconditioning was 0.6%, and 0.4% were sold as realizers before shipping to th e feedlot. Morbidity during preconditioning ranged from 2.1% to 9.5% depending on lot and averaged 5.0% across lots. At the end of the preconditioning period, calv es were gathered in the morning, group weighed, and loaded onto trucks. Duration of the preconditioning period ranged from 34-d to 51-d with a mean number of days preconditioned equal to 42.9-d. Heifers selected as replacements were shipped back to the ranch of or igin. Feeder calves in the small weight class were shipped to a stocker operation before entering the feedlot. Feeder calves in the medium weight class were shipped to a feedlot where data on individual animals was not collected. Therefore, the previously mentioned calves were not utilized in further an alysis of feedlot and carcass performance. Large weight class feeder cal ves were fed in a Western Kansas feedlot that utilizes the Micro Beef Technologies ACCU-TRAC Electronic Cattle Management ( ECM ) system. Only feeder steers (n=1,100) and feeder heifers (n=421) in the la rge weight class were analyzed in this study. Calves were shipped 2,365 km to the feedlot in western Kansas. Four shipments of calves were delivered over a 5-d period. An average of 313 calves were shipped in each group. Upon arrival in Kansas, calves were re sted for 24-h and offered hay and water ad libitum. Calves were

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53 shipped to the feedlot by sex and weight class, therefore, no sorting wa s done upon arrival in the feedlot. Cattle were managed individually utilizing the Micro Beef Technologies ACCU-TRAC ECM system. The ECM system combines multiple objective measurements including bodyweight, ultrasound for internal tissue charact eristics, and video im aging of external dimensions to provide optimum individual anim al management. This information along with growth and performance models utilizing th e Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System allow for accurate prediction of individual animal performance. Information gathered from the ECM was utilized to sort cattle into marketi ng groups by harvest date for optimal individual profitability. At the initial feedlot processi ng, the calfs individual EID number was recorded. Existing ear tags from preconditioning were recorded as a secondary means of identification and then removed. New color coded ear tags with the feedlot lot and individual number were then applied. Calves were weighed individually at in itial feedlot processing. This weight plus 6% shrink was considered the ending bodyweight of the preconditioning phase and the in itial weight of the feedlot phase of production. Feedlo t arrival bodyweight was used to calculate preconditioning average daily gain ( PCADG ) and feedlot average daily gain ( ADG ). After processing, calves were moved to their home pen and started on feed. Calves were fed a starter ration and moved up on feed according to feed intake and health status. The starter ration composition and analysis is presented in Table 1, Appendix. Once calves were consuming 2.5% of bodyweight on a dry matter basis and no appa rent health concerns were present, they were transitioned to the finishi ng ration. This transition occurred with the replacement of 5% of

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54 the starter ration with the finishing ration each day until calves were consuming 100% of the finishing ration. Finishing ration composition and analysis is presented in Table 1, Appendix. Sixty days after arrival, calve s were processed through the ECM system again. Data were collected through ECM every 60-d un til harvest. Cattle were sorted at d120 +/-3days and again at d180, and d240. All cattle were marketed by 300 days on feed. Closeout data from the feedlot reported a cal culated live weight for each individual animal based on the most recent ECM prediction data. This weight was considered the ending weight of the feeding period. From this information feed lot gain was determined by subtracting feedlot arrival weight from the calculated live weight Feedlot ADG was calculated by dividing feedlot gain by days on feed ( DOF ). Feed efficiency (FE ) was calculated by the ECM system utilizing the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protei n System. Total cost of gain ( TCOG ) was determined by dividing the sum of feed cost, treatment cost, processing cost, and other cost by feedlot gain. Data were analyzed using the GLM least square s analysis of variance procedures of SAS (2003). The model included the main eff ects of weaning weight, preconditioning ADG, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color patte rn, and hair shedding characteristics. All two-way in teractions found to be significa nt at P<0.10 for a particular variable were included in the model for that va riable. Linear regressi on analysis was performed on all continuous variables. Results and Discussion Weaning Weight Effect of weaning weight on feedlot average daily gain Linear regression analysis revealed that cattle had similar (P=0.29) feedlot ADG regardless of differences in WW (Figure 4-1). Ca lves with greater WW are typically believed to have greater gain potential (Woodward et al., 1959). However, increases in WW have been

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55 shown to be due to differences in age (Pell and Thayne, 1978; Minyard and Dinkle, 1965), which could exceed 120 d in this trial. Maternal eff ects, such as milk production may also influence WW (Christian et al., 1965) w ithout affecting feedlot ADG. In this study, WW was not a good predictor of feedlot ADG. Effect of weaning weight on feed efficiency An interaction (P<0.01) between WW and sex wa s detected for FE (Figure 4-2). At the lightest recorded weaning weight of 180 kg, steers and heifers had similar FE. As WW increased from 180 to 337.5 kg the FE of heifers became poorer (P<0.05). Linear regression revealed a non-significant improvement in FE for steers as WW increased (P=0.32). Marion et al. (1980) indicated similar FE values for steers and he ifers during the entire feeding period. However, steers were less efficient than he ifers for the last 70 d on feed. Effect of weaning weight on days on feed Days on feed decreased (P<0.0001) by 23.7d as WW increased by 100kg (Figure 4-3). These findings are similar to those of Schoonmaker et. al. (2002) who showed that calves that were older and heavier when placed on feed had 26.9 fewer DOF per 100 kg of bodyweight. In the current trial it is likely th at calves with greater WW were physiologically older than those with lighter WW. Therefore, the differences in DOF in the current trial cannot be entirely attributed to differences in WW since the calves with greater WW are likely to be chronologically older as well. Effect of weaning weight on total cost of gain Total cost of gain in the feedlot was not affected (P =0.32) by differences in WW (Figure 4-4). Due to the similarities observed previ ously for ADG and FE, disparity in TCOG was not expected.

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56 Preconditioning Average Daily Gain Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on feedlot average daily gain Preconditioning average daily gain was not a good predictor (P=0.54) of feedlot ADG (Figure 4-5). It would seem pl ausible that calves that have greater PCADG would also excel for feedlot ADG. However, differences in PCADG ma y be due to the complex circumstances that are associated with preconditioning. Differences in shrink, health status, and the calfs ability to cope with the stressors of weaning, commingling, and environmental changes all have an impact on performance during preconditioning. Therefor e, some calves that perform poor during preconditioning may actually have similar genetic pot ential to high performing calves. This may result in greater gain in the feedlot phase fo r calves that were challenged during preconditioning. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain o n feed efficiency Feed efficiency for steers and heifers improved (P<0.05) as PCADG increased. However, the magnitude of the improvement between steers and heifers va ried resulting in an interaction (P<0.05) between PCADG and sex (Fi gure 4-6). Feed efficiency improved at a greater rate for steers (0.62 kg of feed/kg of gain) than for heifers (0.46 kg/kg). Body compositional differences between steers and heif ers at a given weight have been observed by Fortin et al. (1980) and appear to be responsib le for the decreased rate of improvement for heifers when compared to steers. Heifers are physiologically earlier maturing than steers which would result in less efficient gains for heifers than steers. Heifers have a greater percent body fat at a given weight which requires more NEg to achieve similar gains (NRC, 1996). Having the ability to predict FE by utilizing PCADG has far reaching implications. Fox et al. (2001) indicated that a 10% in crease in FE resulted in a 43% increase in profitability. Further investigation is needed to dete rmine if differences in FE are responsible for the differences observed for PCADG. This study did not meas ure FE during the preconditioning period.

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57 Additional research would be us eful to solidify the correlation between PCADG and feedlot FE, and explore the interaction between steers and heifers. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on days on feed Differences in DOF (P<0.005) due to PCADG were revealed by linea r regression (Figure 4-7). Cattle had 7.2 fewer DOF for each 1.0 kg/d increase in PCADG, which suggests that gain during the preconditioning period partially displaced gain in the feedlot. Calves that gained more weight during the preconditioning period did not require as many DOF once in the feedlot. Effects of preconditioning average daily gain on total cost of gain As PCADG increased by 1.0 kg/d, TCOG values decreased (P<0.05) by 0.098 $/kg (Figure 4-8). Since feedlot ADG was not affected by PCADG it is not likely that the economic differences are due to differences in feedlot ADG. However, FE and DOF improved as PCADG increased suggesting that calves with greater PCADG are more effi cient in the f eedlot resulting in fewer DOF. Brahman Percentage Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feedlot average daily gain Estimated Brahman percentage had minimal impact (P=0.12) on feedlot ADG during the feeding period (Figure 4-9). However, there was a numerical decrease in feedlot ADG associated with each 1/8 increase in estimated Brahman percentage. Average daily gain was 1.23, 1.14, 1.12, and 1.11 kg/d for cattle that were categorized as 0, 1/8, 1/4, or 3/8 Brahman, respectively. Regression analysis revealed a decrease (P<0.0001) in feedlo t ADG of 0.03 kg/d for each 1/8 increase in estimated Brahman percentage. This seemingly small difference would result in an extra 18 kg of live weight for 0 Brahman calves when compared to 3/8 Brahman calves over a 200-d feeding period. Sherbeck et al. (1996) observed a similar d ecrease in ADG, for steers fed in Colorado, as actual Brahman percentage increase d in cattle that were 0, 1/4, or 1/2 Brahman.

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58 Peacock et al. (1982) determined that the direct additive Brahman breed effect for ADG was negative. The current study suggests that as Brahman percentage increases, feedlot ADG decreases when cattle are fed in a temperate climate. Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feed efficiency An interaction (P<0.05) was discovered between estimated Brahman percentage and condition score for FE (Figure 4-10). Cattle cat egorized as 0 Brahman were similar (P=0.51) across all condition scores evaluated for FE. Th e FE of Brahman influenced calves decreased numerically as condition score in creased with the exception of th e 3/8 Brahman calves that were slightly fleshy. It would be expected that calves that enter the feedlot with more condition would be less efficient at converting feed to gain due to either their mo re mature physiological state or higher plane of previous nutriti on. However, not all levels of estimated Brahman percentage performed in this manner. Cattle that were estimated to have 1/8 Brahman inheritance and were slightly thin were more efficient (P<0.05) than average condition and slightly fles hy calves of the same Brahman level. Cattle that were 1/4 Brahman and slightly thin were similar (P=0.21) to average condition but more efficient (P<0.05) than slightly fleshy calves. Cattle that were categorized as 3/8 Brahman and slightly thin were more efficient (P<0.05) than average condition calves but similar (P=0.76) to slightly fleshy calves. Huffman et al. (1990) found no difference in FE relative to Brahman percentage. Trenkle (2001) reported si milar FE between two groups of calves sorted by initial ultrasound backfat measurement, however, calves with greater b ackfat had numerically greater FE values. Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on days on feed Estimated Brahman percentage had a no effect (P=0.68) on DOF (Figure 4-11). Results of the current study suggest th at although feedlot ADG decreas ed with increasing Brahman

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59 percentage, Brahman cattle had a smaller optimal slaughter weight which resulted in similar DOF. It is noteworthy that ca ttle in this trial were not sl aughtered solely on backfat measurement. Harvest dates were calculated to achieve optimal prof itability based on many factors including bodyweight, increm ental cost of gain, and backfa t. Wyatt et al. (2002) found that Angus sired steers were fed 54 fewer days than Brahman-derivative steers when fed to 10 mm of backfat. Compared with previous res earch, the current trial indicates that Brahman influenced calves may be overfed from a profitabili ty standpoint if slaugh tered at similar backfat measurements to British type calves. Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on total cost of gain Values obtained for TCOG were similar (P=0.55) as estimated Brahman percentage increased (Figure 4-12). These results indicate that cattle with less th an 3/8 or less Brahman inheritance perform similarly in the feedlot from an economic perspective. Condition Score Effect of condition score on feedlot average daily gain Cattle that were classified as slightly thin gained 1.16 kg/d an d had greater (P<0.0001) feedlot ADG than average condition and slightly fleshy cattle. Average condition calves were intermediate and had a feedlot ADG value of 1.11 kg/d, which was greater (P<0.0005) than cattle classified as slightly fleshy (1.06 kg/d). Linear regression rev ealed that feedlot ADG decreased by 0.05 kg/d for each unit increase in body condition score (P<0.0001, Figure 4-13). These seemingly small differences in feed lot ADG would result in 20 kg of additional bodyweight for slightly thin calves compared to slightly fleshy calve s after a 200-d feeding period. The current data supports the concept of price differentia tion of feeder calves based on condition score. Research conducted by Trenkl e (2001) found that performance differences between feeder calves sorted by ultrasound back fat resulted in a theoretical $5/100 lbs of

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60 bodyweight discount for fatter steers The author also showed th at calves with less backfat tended to have greater bodyweight gain than calves with more backfat. Effect of condition score on feed efficiency There was an interaction (P<0.05) between condition score and estim ated Brahman percentage for FE. This inter action was discussed previously. Effect of condition score on days on feed Calves with condition scores of slightly thin, average, and slightly fleshy were sim ilar (P=0.29) for DOF (Figure 4-14). Condition score at weaning does not appear to be a good predictor of DOF. Trenkle (2001) sorted feeder calves based on ultrasound backfat measurement, and found that calves that had mo re backfat were fed for fewer DOF. However, the current trial evaluated conditi on score at weaning rather than at feedlot entry, and utilized visual appraisal rather than ultrasound technology. Effect of condition score on total cost of gain Values for TCOG (Figure 4-15) were $1.31, $1.36, and $1.38/kg for condition scores of slightly thin, average, and slight ly fleshy, respectively (P<0.0005). Slightly thin cattle had lower TCOG than average condition (P<0 .0005) and slightly fleshy cattle (P<0.0001). Average and slightly fleshy cattle reported similar (P=0.17) values for TCOG. Regression analysis revealed that TCOG increased (P<0.0001) by 0.0349 $/kg of gain for each unit increase in condition score. These results indicate that slightly thin calves at weaning are more economically efficient in the feedlot. Differences in TCOG observed be tween condition scores appear to be influenced greatest by increased ADG of slightly thin cattle. Trenkle (2001) found that calves that had less initial backfat were $25.47/hd more profitable than fatter steers.

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61 Sex Effect of sex on feedlot average daily gain An interaction between sex and coat she dding characteristics (P <0.1) was observed for feedlot ADG (Figure 4-16). Heifers categorized as completely shed or partially shed had less (P<0.05) feedlot ADG than heifers in the non-shed category. Steer calves performed similarly (P>0.10) across all levels of coat shedding, and were similar (P=0.46) to non-shed heifers. Completely shed and partial shed heifers had decreased (P<.05) feedlot ADG compared to steers for all levels of shedding. The interaction of sex class with coat sheddi ng characteristics may be an artifact of the data set due to the fact that replacement female s were removed from the original population of heifers while all steers were eval uated. Heifers in this study that were categorized as completely shed or partially shed likely represented less desirable phenotypes since they were not selected as replacements. Many of the non-shed heifers were placed in the finishing program regardless of type. These heifers were considered unacceptabl e as replacement females due to many factors including frame size, breed composition, and hair length. Williams et al. (1993) reported an advantage in ADG for steers compared to heifers in a study of 4,549 pens of steers and 1,752 pens of heif ers. Tanner et al. (1970) reported feedlot ADG of 1.16 and 0.94 kg/d for steers and heifers, respectively. In contrast, Zinn et al. (1970) found no significant difference in ADG between steers and heifers, however steers had numerically greater ADG values from 60 to 270 DOF Likewise, Marion et al. (1980) reported similar ADG values for steers and heifers (1.09 a nd 1.08 kg/d, respectively). Variability in the literature may be due to the previously men tioned effect of replacement heifer loss when comparing steers and heifers. In the first two tr ials, replacement heifers we re not included in the analysis, similar to the current trial. However, in the latter tria ls (Zinn et al., 1970; Marion et al.,

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62 1980), an equal number of steers and heifers were selected from a populati on. Steers were found to have greater ADG in the first two trials, but the different sexes performed similarly in the latter. Effect of sex on feed efficiency Interactions existed between sex and PC ADG, and sex and WW for FE and were discussed previously. Effect of sex on days on feed Days on feed were fewer (P<0.0001) for heifer s (222.8) than steers (244.6) (Figure 4-17). These findings are similar to those of Grona et al. (2002). Marion et al. (1980) found similar results and reported that heifer s had 23 fewer DOF than steers. Fewer DOF would be expected for heifers fed to a similar endpoint due to their earlier physiological maturity. Effect of sex on total cost of gain Steers had a lower (P<0.0001) TCOG ($1.29/ kg) than heifers ($1.42/kg, Figure 4-18). These differences appear to be due to small differences in ADG and FE between steers and heifers. Differences in performance between stee rs and heifers may be partially attributed to differences in physiology including cyclicity an d estrous behavior of heifers. Differences between the steer and heifer popul ations may also exist in rega rds to genetic potential for performance since the feeder he ifer population does not include those ca lves selected as replacement females. Coat Color It should be noted that in th is study it was not possible to evaluate color differences on cattle of similar genetic com position. In other wo rds, coat color is a f unction of the breed or breed crosses represented in each animal. Since the individual dam was not known for all of these calves, it was not possible to stratify by bree d type. Results presente d as effects of color

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63 should be interpreted as includi ng the possible effects of the breed or breed combinations that may potentially produce those colors. Differences in performance due to color appear to be associated with calf type and breed composition. In this trial, black cattle were 64.6% Angus si red and 27.7% Brangus sired. Red cattle were 89.9% Hereford sired with Braford dams. Yellow cattle were 84.6% Charolais sired, while grey calves were 45.3% Angus sired and 42.0% Charolais sired. White cattle, however, exhibit a strong continental influence, and we re 100% Charolais sired and had predominantly Charbray dams. Effect of coat color on feedlot average daily gain Cattle that were black, red, yellow, gr ey, or white gained 1.13, 1.00, 1.14, 1.16, and 1.11 kg/d, respectively (Figure 4-19). Red cattle had lower (P<0.05) feedlot ADG values than all other colors evaluated. There wa s a tendency (P<0.10) for grey cattl e to gain better than black cattle and white cattle. Divers ity in biological types expresse d through coat co lor resulted in differences for ADG in this trial. However, Loerch et al. (2001) showed that hide color did not affect daily gains. Effect of coat color on feed efficiency Calculated FE for black, red, yellow, grey, and white calves were 6.57, 7.29, 6.46, 6.58, and 6.73 kg of feed:kg of gain, respectively (Fig ure 4-20). Red cattle had poorer FE than all other colors evaluated (P<0.05). Black, yellow, grey, and white ca ttle had similar FE (P=0.14). Decreased FE for calves with a red coat color woul d appear to be related to the specific genetic combinations that resulted in th at coat color. No physiologica l reason for this difference was identified.

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64 Effect of coat color on days on feed Black cattle were on feed for 218.6 d, which was less (P<0.0001) than all other colors evaluated (Figure 4-21). Values for red ( 236.5 d), yellow (232.4 d), and grey (232.4 d) calves were intermediate and similar (P=0.39). White (248.7 d) cattle had greater (P<0.05) DOF than black, red, yellow, and grey cattle. Differences observed for DOF a ppear to be associated with calf type and breed. Effect of coat color on total cost of gain Previously mentioned differences in performanc e resulted in an effect of color (P<0.01) on TCOG (Figure 4-22). Red cattle had the greatest (P<0.05) cost of gain compared to all other colors with a value of $1.46/kg of gain. Colors of black, yellow, grey, and white were similar (P=0.18) and had decreased TCOG values of $1.32, $1.30, $1.32, and $1.35/kg of gain, respectively. Color Pattern Color pattern had no significant effect on any param eter measured during the feedlot phase of production. Solid and non-solid patterned cattle reported similar (P=0.14) feedlot ADG values (Figure 4-23). There were no differences observed (P=0.60) in FE due to differences in color pattern (Figure 4-24). Values for DOF (Fi gure 4-25) were also similar for different color patterns (P=0.65). Similarity in feedlot performance relative to color pattern did not yield any differences (P=0.37) in TCOG (Figure 4-26). Lack of significance for any of these productive traits shows that there appear to be no differences in feedlot performance based on color pattern. Differences due to color pattern may have been detected if breed composition was more variable, or included diverse biological types such as dairy or andalusian influence. Ther efore, price discriminati on based on color pattern

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65 does not appear to be merited, especially with in groups of cattle with similar genetics and management. Coat Shedding Characteristics Effect of coat shedding characteri stics on feedlot average daily gain An interaction (P<0.10) between sex and co at shedding characteristics w as observed for feedlot ADG and discussed in the s ection on sex. Turner and Schleg er (1960) reported that coat type, as assessed by a subjective score, was well co rrelated with heat tolerance and growth rate. Effects of coat characteristics on thermal regulation are well doc umented. However, Gilbert and Bailey (1991) found that none of the hair coat characteristics they m easured were strongly associated with post-weaning gain. Effect of coat shedding characteris tics on feed efficiency Cattle that were classified as completely sh ed and partial shed had similar (P=0.40) FE values (Figure 4-27). Non-shed calves were more efficient than cattle classified as completely shed (P<0.05) and tended to be more effi cient (P<0.10) than partially shed cattle. Differences in efficiency based on coat sh edding characteristics may be influenced by environmental factors. It would appear that non-shed cattle would be more easily acclimated to environmental changes between Florida and Kansas during the fall of the year The ability of the non-shed group to conserve heat, and mainta in core body temperature in a temperate environment is a possible explanation for the differences observed (NRC, 1996). Effect of coat shedding char acteristics on days on feed Cattle in the non-shed category were fed for 17.0 fewer (P<0.01) DOF than both other categories (Figure 4-28). Values for the complete ly shed and partially shed groups were similar (P=0.99). Differences observed for DOF are at l east partially explained by the differences in FE.

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66 Effect of coat shedding characteristics on total cost of gain Due to the differences in ADG, FE and DOF observed previously, economic differences in TCOG existed between the differe nt coat types (P<0.05) Completely shed and partially shed categories had similar (P=0.46) TCOG values of $1.38 and $1.37/kg of gain, respectively. Nonshed cattle had a lower (P<0.05) TCOG value of $1.31/kg of gain (Figure 4-29). These data suggest that Florida calves that ha ve not shed their winter coat at weaning have a greater level of performance when placed on feed in the Midwest during the fall of the year. These differences are believed to be dependent upon specific environmental and seasonal factors. Implications Increases in WW resulted in cattle bei ng fed for fewer DOF, however, the level of performance in the feedlot was not aff ected by WW. Although PCADG was not a good predictor of feedlot ADG, other improvements in feedlot performance were observed as PCADG increased. As PCADG increased, steers and heifers improved in feedlot FE, resulting in fewer DOF and lower TCOG for calves that perfor med well during preconditioning. Estimated Brahman percentage was not a good predictor of feedlot performance. However, linear regression did reveal a slight decrease in feedlot ADG as estimated Brahman percentage increased up to 3/8. Calves with lower initi al condition scores exhibited greater feedlot ADG and decreased TCOG while being fed for similar DOF to fleshier calves. Heifers were fed for fewer DOF, yet exhibited greater TCOG than steers due to differences associated with ADG and FE. Calves performed similarly across coat colo r categories, with the exception of red calves who had lower ADG, and poorer FE, resulting in increased TCOG. Differences in DOF for calves with different coat colors appear to be associated with calf type, such as Continental influence. Solid and non-solid color patterned cattle performed similarly for all feedlot performance traits measured. This suggests that price discrimination on the basis of color pattern

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67 may not be merited. Calves that had not shed th eir hair coat at weaning performed better than both their shed and partial shed contemporaries for feedlot performance traits. While these nonshed calves tend to struggle in Florida during the summer months, the benefits of their coat characteristics are revealed when fed in the Mi dwest. These results suggest that many of the preconceived ideas regarding calf ty pe and coat characteristics are not good predictors of feedlot performance of cattle from a single herd.

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68 Figure 4-1. Effect of weaning weight on feed lot average daily gain. Linear regression slope=0.0002, P=0.29. Figure 4-2. Weaning weight by sex interaction for feedlot feed efficiency. Main effect P<0.01. Heifers linear regression slope=0.0 024, P<0.05. Steer linear regression slope=0.0008, P=0.32.

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69 Figure 4-3. Effect of weaning weight on feed lot days on feed. Lin ear regression slope=-0.2372, P<0.0001. Figure 4-4. Effect of weaning weight on feedlot total cost of gain. Linear regression slope=0.0058, P=0.33.

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70 Figure 4-5. Effect of preconditioni ng average daily gain on feedlo t average daily gain. Linear regression slope=0.0065, P=0.54. Figure 4-6. Preconditioning average daily gain by sex interaction for feedlot feed efficiency. Main effect P<0.05. Heifer linear re gression slope=-0.4626, P<0.10. Steer linear regression slope=-0.6215, P<0.05.

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71 Figure 4-7. Effect of preconditi oning average daily gain on feedlot days on feed. Linear regression slope=-7.1927, P<0.01. Figure 4-8. Effect of preconditioni ng average daily gain on feedlo t total cost of gain. Linear regression slope=-9.8300, P<0.05.

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72 Figure 4-9. Effect of estimated Brahman percenta ge on feedlot average daily gain. Main effect P=0.1175. Linear regression slope=-0.03, P<0.0001. Figure 4-10. Estimated Brahman percentage by condition score interaction for feedlot feed efficiency. P<0.05.

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73 Figure 4-11. Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on feedlot days on feed. P=0.68. Figure 4-12. Effect of estimated Brahman perc entage on feedlot total cost of gain. P=0.55.

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74 Figure 4-13. Effect of condition score on feed lot average daily gai n. Main effect P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=-0.05, P<0.0001. Figure 4-14. Effect of condition sc ore on feedlot days on feed. P=0.29.

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75 Figure 4-15. Effect of condition score on feedlot total cost of gain. P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 4-16. Sex by hair shedding characteristics interaction for feedlot average daily gain. P<0.10.

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76 Figure 4-17. Effect of sex on feedlot days on feed. P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 4-18. Effect of sex on feed lot total cost of gain. P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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77 Figure 4-19. Effect of coat color on feedlot average daily gain. P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 4-20. Effect of coat colo r on feedlot feed efficiency. P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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78 Figure 4-21. Effect of coat co lor on feedlot days on feed. P<0.0001. a,b,c Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 4-22. Effect of coat color on feedlot total cost of gain. P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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79 Figure 4-23. Effect of co lor pattern on feedlot av erage daily gain. P=0.14. Figure 4-24. Effect of color pattern on feedlot feed efficiency. P=0.60.

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80 Figure 4-25. Effect of color patte rn on feedlot days on feed. P=0.65. Figure 4-26. Effect of co lor pattern on feedlot total cost of gain. P=0.37.

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81 Figure 4-27. Effect of hair shedding charac teristics on feedlot feed efficiency. P<0.05. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 4-28. Effect of hair shedding char acteristics on feedlot days on feed. P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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82 Figure 4-29. Effect of hair sh edding characteristics on feedlo t total cost of gain. P<0.05. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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83 CHAPTER 5 THE EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC CHARACTERISTICS AND PRECONDITIONING PERFORM ANCE ON CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS Introduction In m any cases the preconditioning period is the first opportunity to evaluate the performance of calves on an individual basis with out the masking effects of their dam. This is also a time where calves are subjected to identic al treatments and each has the same opportunity to perform. For these reasons the preconditioning period provides an opportunity to evaluate calves under similar management before entering the feedlot. Calves that are treated for respiratory disease during preconditioning or in the feedlot have been shown to exhibit poorer carcass quality (McNeill 2001). However, there is minimal data to sugges t a correlation between gain during the preconditioning pe riod and carcass performance. It has been demonstrated by Mine rt et al. (1988) that individual animal characteristics such as sex, Brahman percentage, and condition score have an effect on the price received for calves. Reasons for price differentiation due to these ch aracteristics are based on the belief that these characteristics affect animal performance. Howe ver, the effects of these economically important characteristics have not been extensivel y evaluated during the preconditioning period. Qualitative characteristics such as coat color, body pattern, and hair shedding characteristics are commonly used as an indicato r of animal performance as well. Across the country, calves receive discounts or premiums based on the characte ristics of their hair coat. Many producers believe that these qualitative char acteristics are solely used to discriminate against certain types of cattle. Nevertheless, many cattle buyers, stocker operators, feedlot operators, and packers stand behind the claim th at these characteristics have an impact on subsequent performance a nd carcass characteristics.

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84 The objective of this experiment was to evalua te the effects of weaning weight, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics on carcass characteristics. In a ddition, this study evalua ted the effect of daily gain during the preconditioning period on car cass characteristics. Materials and Methods Cow/calf pairs were g athered off pasture in the morning fr om a large commercial cow/calf operation in South Florida. St eers (n=1,575) and heifers (n=1,550) were separated from their dams and shipped approximately 370 km to a precondi tioning facility in North Central Florida. The calving season was between October 10, 2003 a nd February 10, 2004. All calves originated from the same ranch and had been exposed to similar pre-weaning management practices that included knife castration, dehorning, and vaccination at approximately 2 to 4 months of age. All calves were vaccinated on the ranch of origin with Cattlemaster 4 and Ultraback 8. Heifers were calf-hood vaccinated against Brucella abortus An injectable dewormer (Dectomax) and a topical fly control (Saber) were also administered, and calves were implanted with Ralgo. Calves were received at the preconditioning fa cility in nine shipments across a 15 d period beginning on July 27th, 2004 and ending on August 10th, 2004. Approximately 350 calves were received in each shipment. Calves were shipped from the ranch between 0900 and 1200 and arrived at the preconditioning yard between 1200 and 1700. Upon arrival, calves were offered hay and water ad libitum. Hay consumption wa s rarely noted between arrival and processing. Immediately prior to processing, calves were sorted into groups based on sex and weight class. Sex classes were feeder steer, feeder heifer, and replacement heifer. Weight classes of small, medium, and large were also determ ined. Processing began between 1730 and 1830 each evening and continued until the entire shipment was processed. Calves were processed at an average rate of 89 hd/hr.

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85 During processing calves were vaccinated us ing a modified live vaccine for IBR, BVD, PI3, and BRSV (Bovi-Shield GOLD) for respiratory disease, a bacterin toxoid (ONE SHOT) to prevent bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis, an d an 8-way clostridial vaccine (Ultra ChoiceTM 8). An injectable avermectin anthelmentic includin g clorsulon for treatment of liver flukes (Ivomec Plus) was administered according to weight clas s. Calves also received a vitamin B complex injection and were mass medicated with Tilmicosin (Micotil 300) according to label directions. Calves were treated topically wi th lambdacyhalothrin (S aber) to suppress horn flies and lice. Color coded ear tags containing the lot and indivi dual animal number were applied in the right ear and a low-frequency half dupl ex electronic id entification (EID ) unit was placed in the left ear. Calves were also branded with a fire brand on the left hip for ownership identification. Average processing cost was $14.76/hd, not including labor. During processing each animal was evaluate d by two evaluators who classified each animal on the phenotypic evidence of Brahman per centage, condition score, color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics. Estimated Brahman percentage was categorized sim ilarly to that of Sherbeck et al. (1996). Brahman percentage was estimated to be 0, 1/ 8, 1/4, or 3/8 Brahman influence. Phenotypic evaluations of Brahman percenta ge were made based on the visu al appearance of the underline and size of the hump. Length, shape, and orienta tion of the ear were also used to estimate Brahman percentage. Actual Brahman percentage of individual animals was unknown. However, evaluators were aware of the calfs sire breed and dam type. Condition scores were based on similar scori ng done by Grona et al. (2002), and were assigned using a 9-point scoring sy stem and categorized as extremely thin, thin, moderately thin, slightly thin, average, sligh tly fleshy, moderately fleshy, fl eshy, and extremely fleshy (USDA,

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86 1995). Extremes in condition score were not obs erved. Only two calves were classified less than slightly thin and none were classified greater than slightly fleshy. Therefore, only slightly thin, average, and slightly fl eshy categories were evaluated. Color was based on the predominant color of the animal similar to Loerch et al. (2001) and categorized as black, red, yellow, grey, or white. Color pattern was established as either solid patterned or non-solid patterned. Non-solid color patterned calv es included spotted, roan, or brindle color patterns. Spotted calves were categorized only when white markings extended behind the point of the shoulder or above the fl ank. White-faced, Hereford type calves were considered solid patterned. Ha ir shedding characteris tics were based on previous work done by Thrift et al (1994) and were classified as shed, pa rtially shed, or non-shed. Calves were individually wei ghed automatically by a Digistar digital scale with load cells underneath the processing chute. This wei ght was considered to be a shrunk weight and was designated as weaning weight ( WW). Scales were calibrated and set to weigh calves in 2.25 kg increments. Calves EID number s were captured using an Allfex RS250 Series Stick Reader. Weights and EID were automatically downloaded into a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet using WinWedge RS232 Data Acquisition Software for Windows. After processing calves were turned out in 2.02 ha pastures by sex and weight class for weaning and environmental acclimation. Water in these pastures was treated with amprolium (Corid) according to label dosage to reduce the incide nce of coccidiosis. After 5-d calves were moved to 8.09 ha pastures and rotated across pastures as forage availability dictated for the duration of the preconditioning program. Calves were fed a low concentate starter ration containing monensin sodium (Rumensin) and tylosin tartrate (Tylan) with a target dry matter

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87 intake set at 3% of live bodywei ght. Calves were fed in the morning in metal bunks allowing 20 cm of bunk space per animal, and typical ly reached target consumption by d14. Calves that showed signs of respiratory dise ase were treated in the pasture with ceftiofur sodium (Naxcel) according to label directions using Ballistivet technology. Calves that had to be treated more than twice we re given enrofloxacin (Baytril) according to label directions and drenched with amprolium (Corid). Death loss during preconditioning was 0.6%, and 0.4% were sold as realizers before shipping to th e feedlot. Morbidity during preconditioning ranged from 2.1% to 9.5% depending on lot and averaged 5.0% across lots. At the end of the preconditioning period, calv es were gathered in the morning, group weighed, and loaded onto trucks. Duration of the preconditioning period ranged from 34-d to 51d with a mean number of days preconditioned equal to 42.9-d. Heifers selected as replacements were shipped back to the ranch of origin. Feed er calves in the small weight class were shipped to a stocker operation before entering the feedlot. Feeder calves in the medium weight class were shipped to a feedlot where data on individual animals was not collected. Therefore, the previously mentioned calves were not utilized in further analysis of feedlot and carcass performance. Large weight class feeder calves we re fed in a western Kansas feedlot that utilized the Micro Beef Technologies ACCU-TRAC Electronic Cattle Management system ( ECM ). Only feeder steers (n=1,100) and feeder heifers (n=421) in the la rge weight class were analyzed in this study. The ECM system combines multiple objective measurements such as weight, ultrasound for internal tissue characteristics, and video imaging of external dimensions to provide optimum individual animal management. This informa tion along with growth and performance models utilizing the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Prot ein System allow for accurate prediction of

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88 individual animal performance. Information gath ered from the ECM was utilized to sort cattle into marketing groups by harvest date for optimal individual profitability. Cattle were harvested for five different reas ons according to ECM information. Triggering responses for harvest were maximum backfat (n =943), increasing increm ental cost of gain (n=197), minimum weight (n=65), and maximum weight (n=298). Ei ghteen calves were sold as railers before harvest due to illness or injury. All cattle were humanely harvested at the same packing plant. Indivi dual carcass data was collected by Excel Corporation and utilized to evaluate differences in carcass composition between individuals. Carcass qua lity was segregated at the pl ant into 8 categories based on quality grade and qualifications for specific programs. Carcass quality categories were Prime, Certified Angus Beef, Sterling Silver, Angus Prid e, Choice, Select, Standard, No Roll, Dark Cutter, Hard Bone, Stag, and Condemned. Thes e categories were condensed to Prime (n=13), Upper 2/3 Choice (n=264), Low Choice (n=529), Select (n=652), and Standard (n=45) for analysis. Condensed categories are repr esented as adjusted quality grade ( AQG ) in this analysis. Cattle were assigned an AQG score from 1 to 5, with 1=Prime and 5=Standard, for further analysis. Yield grade was determined at the packi ng plant based on USDA standard adjustments for fat over the eye, hot carcass weight ( HCW), ribeye area, ( REA), kidney, pelvic, and heart fat. Ribeye area REA was measured between the 12th and 13th rib on one side of the carcass in cm2. Hot carcass weight was determined on the rail. Data were analyzed using the GLM least square s analysis of variance procedures of SAS (2003). The model included the main effects of WW, PCADG, estimated Brahman percentage, condition score, sex, coat color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics. All two-way

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89 interactions found to be significan t at P<0.10 for a particular variab le were included in the model for that variable. Linear re gression analysis was performed on all continuous variables. Results and Discussion Weaning Weight Effect of weaning weight on hot carcass weight Linear regression analysis revealed that as WW in creased by 100 kg, HCW increased (P<0.0001) by 56.5 kg (Figure 5-1). Christian et al. (1965) indicated a positive correlation between WW and weight at slaughter. The current results indicate that WW is an economically important trait even when retain ing ownership, as it has further im plications relative to growth. Hot carcass weight is the primary f actor associated with profitability at the carcass level (Pyatt et al., 2005). However, differences in WW may be a ssociated with differen ces in age or growth rate. It is impossible to separa te calf age and WW in this trial since individual birth dates were not known. Effect of weaning weight on adjusted quality grade Cattle that had different WW were similar (P=0.12) for AQG (Figure 5-2) Schoonmaker et al. (2002) showed that calve s that were older and heavier when placed on feed had lower marbling scores and a greater percentage graded Select. However, these older and heavier cattle had fewer DOF. Weaning weight differences at a constant age have not been documented as having a significant effect on quality grade. Effect of weaning weig ht on REA and REA/100kg Cattle that were heavier at weaning had larger (P<0.05, Figure 5-3) REA but smaller (P=0.0001, Figure 5-4) REA/100 kg va lues. Linear regression revealed an increase of 2.93 cm2 in REA as WW increased by 100 kg. However, REA/100 kg declined by 3.94 cm2 for each 100

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90 kg increase in WW. These results indicate that increases associated with REA are due to increased HCW for cattle that were heavier at w eaning. However, cattle with greater WW were actually lighter muscled from a body composition standpoint. Effect of weaning weight on yield grade Increases in WW resulted in poorer (P< 0.005) values for YG (Figure 5-5). As WW increased by 100 kg, YG values increased by 1/3 of a grade. Poorer YG values are partially explained by the increase in HCW and the decrease in REA/100 kg. Increases in HCW have been show to have a positive effect on YG (Nour et al., 1983). Generally cattle with heavier carcass weights have greater external fat thickness which is the basis for determining preliminary YG. Adjustments to the preliminary YG are then made for REA as compared to carcass weight. Therefore, smaller REA/100 kg values would drive the YG higher. Preconditioning Average Daily Gain Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on hot carcass weight As PCADG increased by 1 kg, HCW in creased (P<0.0001) by 19.48 kg (Figure 5-6). These results suggest that calves that gain mo re rapidly during preconditioning will ultimately have heavier carcasses. Therefore, selection for post-weaning gain during the preconditioning period may result in greater profitability due to increased HCW when retaining ownership. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on adjusted quality grade Differences in PCADG had minimal effect (P =0.24) on AQG (Figure 57) suggesting that performance during the preconditio ning period is not a good predicto r of carcass quality. These two variables would not be e xpected to be correlated fr om a physiological standpoint. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on REA and REA/100 kg Cattle that gained more weight during preconditioning had larger (P<0.0001, Figure 5-8) REA but smaller (P<0.01, Figure 5-9) REA/100 kg values. As PCADG increased by 1 kg, REA

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91 increased by 3.12 cm2. However, REA/100 kg decreased by 0.53 cm2 as PCADG increased by 1 kg. These results indicate similarly to WW, that larger REA is associat ed with increased HCW rather than physiological differences in muscling. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on yield grade Cattle that exhibited differences in PC ADG had similar (P=0.29) YG (Figure 5-10). Differences in YG would be expected to be minimized in this trial due to the fact that cattle were harvested at each animals optimal endpoint through ECM. Individual animal management reduced the upper limit of YG by attempti ng to eliminate YG 4 and 5 carcasses. Brahman Percentage Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on hot carcass weight Hot carcass weight decreased (P<0.0001) as estimated Brahman percentage increased (Figure 5-11). Cattle estimated to have 0 Brahman inheritance had greater (P<0.05) HCW (358.3 kg) than all other levels of Brahman obser ved. Cattle that exhibited 3/8 Brahman had the lightest (P<0.001) HCW (321.1 kg) compared to all other observed levels of Brahman. Cattle that exhibited 1/8 Brahman (339.3 kg) and 1/4 Brahman (334.4 kg) were intermediate and similar (P>0.10). Linear regression revealed an 8.78 kg decrease in HCW for each 1/8 increase in estimated Brahman percentage. McKenna et al. (2002) reported a 17.6 kg decrease in HCW for Bos indicus type cattle compared to Bos taurus cattle (356.6 and 349.0 kg respectively). Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on adjusted quality grade Calves that were categorized as 0 Brahm an had better AQG than cattle of 1/4 (P<0.05) and 3/8 (P<0.001) Brahman inheritance (Figure 5-12 ). Cattle that exhibited 1/8 Brahman were intermediate, and similar (P>0.10), to 0 and 1/4 Brahman cattle. Cattle that exhibited 3/8 Brahman inheritance had poorer (P<0.05) AQG than all other levels of Brahman. Further analysis revealed that AQG declined by 0.07 units as estimated Brahman percentage increased

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92 by 1/8. Similar results we re reported by MeKenna et al. (2002) in that Bos taurus type carcasses had a greater average quality grade than Bos indicus type carcasses. Sherbeck et al. (1995) also showed a decrease in marbling score for 25% and 50% Brahman calves when compared to straight bred Herefords. Effect of estimated Brahman p ercentage on REA and REA/100 kg Estim ated Brahman percentage had an effect (P<0.01) on REA (Figure 5-13). Cattle that were categorized as 0 Brahman inheritance had si milar (P>0.10) REA values to all other levels of Brahman. Cattle that were characterized as 1/8 Brahman had greater REA than those estimated to have 1/4 (P<0.05) or 3/8 (P=0.0001) Br ahman inheritance. Cattle classified as 1/4 Brahman reported greater (P<0.05) REA than those estimated to have 3/8 Brahman. Sherbeck et al. (1995) observed that 25% and 50% Brahman cr ossbred calves had greater REA than straightbred Herefords. Cattle that were categorized as 0, 1/8, 1/4, or 3/8 Brahman had REA/100 kg values of 23.5, 25.7, 25.4, and 25.8 cm2, respectively, and were similar (P =0.13, Figure 5-14). It is noteworthy that the 0 Brahman group was nume rically lower than all other leve ls of Brahman percentage for REA/100 kg. McKenna et al. (2002) reported that Bos indicus type cattle had smaller REA than Bos taurus type cattle. However, when adju sted for carcass weight differences Bos indicus and native type cattle had similar REA/100 kg values of 24.0 and 23.9 cm2, respectively. Differences observed for REA values relative to Brahman percentage indicate that the smaller REA associated with increasing Brahman inheritance is due to lower HCW of Brahman influenced cattle. Increasing Brahman percenta ge did not result in lighter muscled animals relative to carcass weight in this trial. Contrary to the perception of Brahman influenced cattle throughout the beef cattle industry, the Brahman influenced animals actually had numerically greater muscle area on a carcass weight basis.

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93 Effect of estimated Brahman percentage on yield grade An interaction (P<0.10) between es timated Brahman percentage and condition score was identified for YG (Figure 5-15). In the 0 Br ahman group, there was a tendency (P<0.10) for slightly fleshy calves to have a greater YG than slightly thin and average conditioned calves. Cattle that exhibited 1/8 Brahma n inheritance and were slightly thin had similar (P<0.10) YG compared to average condition and slightly fl eshy cattle of the same Brahman percentage. However, slightly fleshy calves had decrease d (P<0.05) YG compared to average condition calves. The 1/4 Brahman cattle th at were slightly thin cattle had similar (P=0.71) YG to average condition, but tended (P<0.10) to be different than slightly fleshy calves. Slightly fleshy calves had lower (P<0.05) YG values than average conditi on calves. For cattle th at were estimated to have 3/8 Brahman, slightly thin calves had greater (P<0.05) YG th an average condition calves. Slightly fleshy cattle were similar (P>0.10) to sl ightly thin and average condition calves for YG. A general decline in YG was observed as condi tion score increased w ithin each level of estimated Brahman percentage with the excepti on on the 0 Brahman category. This phenomenon is partially explained by the increase in REA and REA/100 kg associated with increasing condition score. McKenna et al. (2002) and Sherbeck et al. (1995) reported no difference in YG values due to Bos indicus inheritance. However, Crockett et al. (1979) showed that cattle from Brahman influenced sires had greater YG values than those sired by continental sire breeds. Calves sired by Brahman influenced sires also ha d greater condition scores at weaning. Grona et al. (2002) showed that slightly th in cattle had lower final YG than slightly fleshy cattle. Average conditioned cattle were intermed iate and similar to both other condition scores evaluated.

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94 Condition Score Effect of condition score on hot carcass weight Differences in condition score at the onset of preconditioning resulted in heavier (P<0.01) HCW for slightly th in and average condition cattl e when compared to slightly fleshy cattle (Figure 5-16). Slightly thin cattle tended to have heavier (P<0.1) HCW th an average condition cattle. Linear regression analysis revealed a 13.4 kg decrease in HCW as condition score increased. Grona et al. (2002) showed similar results for ca rcass weight of the three condition scores evaluated in this study. Effect of condition score on adjusted quality grade An interaction (P<0.1) between condition score and sex was identified for AQG, (Figure 517). Heifers that were characterized as sligh tly thin had decreased (P<0.05) AQG co mpared to steers of the same condition score. Steers and heif ers in the average condition and slightly fleshy groups had similar AQG (P>0.10). Similar resear ch conducted by Grona et al. (2002) indicated that heifers graded be tter than steers, and no interaction with condition score was observed. McKenna et al. (2002) reported an advantage in marbling scor e for heifers, however the difference was of no practical significance. Statis tically similar but numerically greater quality grades for heifers have also been report ed (Marion et al., 1980; Tanner et al., 1970). Effect of condition scor e on REA and REA/100 kg Interactions relative to REA were observe d between condition sc ore and sex (P<0.10, Figure 5-18) and condition score and shedding char acteristics of the coat (P<0.05, Figure 5-19). Marion et al. (1980) reported that steers had larger REA th an heifers (76.0 and 68.8 cm, respectively). Tanner et al. (1970) agrees and reported REA values of 68.0 and 65.0 cm for steers and heifers, respectively. Grona et al (2002) reported no difference in REA or REA adjustment between the three condition scores, however, heifers were heavier muscled than

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95 steers on a carcass weight basis. Hedrick et al. (1969) reported a non-significant 1.4 cm2 advantage for heifers when compared to steers for REA. Slightly thin cattle had lower REA/100kg than average condition (P<0.05) and slightly fleshy (P<0.0001) cattle (Figure 5-20). Aver age condition cattle had lower (P<0.01) REA/100kg values than slightly fleshy cattl e. Linear regression analysis revealed that REA/100kg increased by 0.4361 cm2 as condition score increased. These results indicate that cattle that have more condition at weaning are heavier mu scled at slaughter. However, it is possible that heavier muscled calves appeared fleshier to evaluators at weaning. Effect of condition score on yield grade An interaction between condition score and estim ated Brahman percentage was discovered for YG and discussed previously (Figure 5-15). Sex Effect of sex on hot carcass weight Steers had 21 kg heavier (P<0.0001) HCW than did heifers (349 a nd 328 kg, respectively) (Figure 5-21). These results appear to be due to the fact that s teers had greater WW, and as indicated earlier, greater feedlot ADG and longer DOF than heifers (Savell et al., 2008). This phenomenon has been observed in the literature for many years. Grona et al. (2002) reported a 31 kg difference in HCW for steers (342 kg) and heif ers (311 kg). Similar results were identified by McKenna et al. (2002) who observed a 30 kg advantage for steers. Tanner et al. (1970) indicated a 27.6 kg advantage for steers. Howeve r, Zinn et al (1970) found that differences in HCW between steers and heifers ar e only significant after 120 DOF. Effect of sex on adjusted quality grade An interaction between sex and condition score for AQG wa s disc ussed previously (Figure 5-17).

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96 Effect of sex on REA and REA/100 kg An interaction (P<0.10) between sex a nd condition score for REA was di scussed previously (Figure 5-18). Steers reported smaller (P<0.0001) REA/100 kg values than did heifers 24.4 and 25.8 cm2/100 kg, respectively (Figure 5-22). Grona et al. (2002) agree th at heifers have larger REA relative to carcass weight than steers. Marion et al. (1980) found that steers and heifers had 24.0 and 25.0 cm2/100kg, respectively. Values for REA/100 kg of 27.8 and 29.9 cm2/100 kg for steers and heifers, respectively, were reported by Tanner et al. (1970). Effect of sex on yield grade Steers and heifers had sim ilar (P=0.94, Figure 5-23) YG. These results are similar to those of Marion et al. (1980) who reported YG for steer s and heifers to be 3.5 and 3.6, respectively. McKenna et al. (2002) reported a small, but si gnificant difference in YG between steers and heifers (3.0 and 2.9, respectively). Grona et al. (2002) also repor ted that steers had higher YG than heifers. Coat Color It should be noted that in th is study it was not possible to evaluate color differences on cattle of similar genetic com position. In other wo rds, color is a function of the breed or breed crosses represented in each animal. Since th e individual dam was not known for all of these calves, it was not possible to stratify by breed type Results presented as effects of color should be interpreted as including the possible effects of the breed or breed combinations that may potentially produce those colors. Differences in performance due to color appear to be associated with calf type and breed composition. In this trial, black cattle were 64.6% Angus si red and 27.7% Brangus sired. Red cattle were 89.9% Hereford si red out of Braford cows. Ye llow cattle were 84.6% Charolais

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97 sired, while grey calves were 45.3% Angus sired and 42.0% Char olais sired. White cattle, however, exhibit a strong con tinental influence, and were 100% Charolais sired and predominantly out of Charbray cows. Effect of coat color on hot carcass weight Black cattle had lighter (P<0.05) HCW than ye llow, grey, and white cattle (Figure 5-24). However, black and red cattle were sim ilar (P=0.21) for HCW. No other significant differences in HCW were observed between colors. Differences observed in this trial appear to be due to differences in calf type. Calves that were yellow, grey, or white would be expected to have greater Continental influence than black or red ca lves. Nevertheless, Loerch et al. (2001) found no difference in HCW due to hide color differen ces. This study indicate s that current market trends toward black cattle may actually result in decreased HCW. Effect of coat color on adjusted quality grade Black and grey cattle had better (P<0.05) AQG than red and yellow cattle (Figure 5-25). White cattle were intermediate and sim ilar (P>0.10) to all other colors. These differences also appear to be related to calf t ype and breed differences. Darker pigmented black and grey cattle would probably contain some por tion of Angus genetics which may predispose them to having better quality grade, especially when compared to Continental type crosses. Similar results for quality grade were reported by Loerch et al. ( 2001) who observed that black and smoke colored cattle had the highest marbling sc ores, while reds were the lowest, and white hided cattle were intermediate. These data indicate that market premiums for black cattle may be justified in relation to quality grade. However, the current st udy also suggests that grey cattle should receive the same market premiums as black cattle on the basis of quality grade.

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98 Effect of coat color on REA and REA/100 kg Black cattle had sm aller (P<0.05) REA than all other colors evaluated (Figure 5-26). No other significant differences (P>0.36) in REA were observed between colors. Loerch et al. (2001) reported that black and smoke colored ca ttle had smaller REA than red and white hided cattle. Black cattle had smaller (P<0.01) REA/100 kg valu es than yellow and grey calves (Figure 5-27). Black cattle were similar to red (P=0.53) and white (P=0.11) cattle. No other significant differences (P>0.41) in REA/100 kg were observed between colors. These differences in muscle expression also appear to be associated with calf type. Smaller REA values for black cattle were offset by an improvement in AQG presented earlier. However, grey calves were able to hit both targets and exhibited increased AQG, REA and REA/100 kg. Effect of coat color on yield grade Black cattle had greater (P<0.05) YG than all other colors evaluated (Figure 5-28). N o other significant differences (P>0.13) in YG we re observed between colors. Differences observed for YG are partially explained by smaller REA and REA/100kg values for black cattle. Observing that black cattle had higher YG is furt her evidence of the inverse relationship between AQG and YG. In this trial the grey cattle performed better when considering both AQG and YG. The authors attribute this advantag e to breed complimentarity of cattle that exhibit grey color. Loerch et al. (2001) reported that black and smoke colored cattle had poorer YG than red and white hided cattle. Color Pattern Color pattern had no effect on HCW (P= 0.72, Figure 5-30), AQG (P=0. 64, Figure 5-31), REA (P=0.30, Figure 5-32), REA/100 kg (P=0.55, Figure 5-33), and YG (P=0.80, Figure 5-34).

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99 Color pattern had no significant effect on any of th e carcass traits measured indicating that cattle perform similarly for carcass characteristics regardless of color pattern. These findings suggest that price differentiation on the basi s of color pattern is unwarranted. Coat Shedding Characteristics Coat shedding characteristics had no eff ect on HCW (P=0.74, Figure 5-34), AQG (P=0.44, Figure 5-35), REA/100 kg (P=0.40, Figure 5-36), or YG (P=0.35, Figure5-37). An interaction between hair shedding characteristics and condi tion score for REA was discussed earlier. Shedding characteristics had no significant affect on any of the car cass traits measured in this study. These data suggest that discrimination on th e basis of coat shedding characteristics is unwarranted in relation to carcass characteristics. Implications Increasing WW and PC ADG resulted in an incr ease in HCW. However, WW and PCADG were not good predictors of AQG. As estimat ed Brahman percentage increased, HCW and AQG decreased. Increasing calf conditi on score resulted in lighter HCW. Steers had heavier carcasses than heifers and reported similar YG despite the fact that they had smaller REA/100kg values. Black cattle had lighter HCW, better AQG, poorer YG, and were lighter muscled than other colors evaluated. Color pattern and coat shedding characteristics had minimal effect on any of the carcass characteristics anal yzed. These results suggest th at differences do exist between biological groups of cattle from a single herd. Ho wever, some of the prejudices associated with Brahman percentage, condition score, coat color, color pattern, and hair shedding characteristics are not warranted. Therefore, premiums and di scounts associated with these characteristics should be evaluated more closely.

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100 Figure 5-1. Effect of weaning weight on hot carcass weight Linear regression slope=0.5650, P<0.0001. Figure 5-2. Effect of weaning weight on carcass quality grade. Lin ear regression slope=0.0014, P=0.12.

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101 Figure 5-3. Effect of weaning weight on carcass ribeye area. Linear regression slope=2.93, P<0.05. Figure 5-4. Effect of weaning weight on car cass ribeye area per 100 kg. Linear regression slope=-0.0394, P<0.0001.

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102 Figure 5-5. Effect of weaning weight in carcass yield grade. Lin ear regression slope=0.0033, P<0.001. Figure 5-6. Effect of preconditioni ng average daily gain on hot carcass weight. Linear regression slope=19.4816, P<0.0001.

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103 Figure 5-7. Effect of preconditi oning average daily gain on carcass quality grade. Linear regression slope=0.03, P=0.24. Figure 5-8. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on carcass ribeye area. Linear regression slope=3.12, P<0.0001.

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104 Figure 5-9. Effect of preconditi oning average daily gain on ca rcass ribeye area per 100 kg. Linear regression slope=-0.5331, P<0.01. Figure 5-10. Effect of preconditioning average daily gain on carcass yield grade. Linear regression slope=-0.0514, P=0.29.

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105 Figure 5-11.Effect of estimated Brahman per centage on hot carcass weight. Main effect P<0.0001. a,b,c Means with different superscrip ts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=-19.5192, P<0.0001. Figure 5-12. Effect of estimated Brahman percen tage on carcass quality grade. Main effect P<0.01. a,b,c Means with different superscrip ts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=0.07, P<0.10.

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106 Figure 5-13. Effect of estimated Brahman pe rcentage on ribeye area. Main effect P<0.01. a,b,c Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=-0.9476, P<0.05. Figure 5-14. Effect of estimated Brahman perc entage on ribeye area per 100 kg. Main effect P=0.13. Linear regression slope=0.0471, P=0.47.

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107 Figure 5-15. Estimated Brahman percentage by condition score interact ion for carcass yield grade. P<0.10. Figure 5-16. Effect of condition score on hot carcass weight. Main effect P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=-13.4089, P<0.001.

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108 Figure 5-17. Condition score by sex interaction for quality grade. P<0.10. Figure 5-18. Condition score by sex interaction for ribeye area. P<0.10.

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109 Figure 5-19. Condition score by hair shedding characteristics inte raction for ribeye area. P<0.05. Figure 5-20. Effect of condition score on ribeye area per 100 kg. Main effect P<0.001. a,b,c Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Linear regression slope=0.4361, P<0.001.

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110 Figure 5-21. Effect of sex on hot carcass weight. P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 5-22. Effect of sex on car cass ribeye area per 100 kg. P<0.0001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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111 Figure 5-23. Effect of sex on carcass yield grade. P=0.94. Figure 5-24. Effect of coat co lor on hot carcass weight. P<0.001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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112 Figure 5-25. Effect of coat colo r on carcass quality grade. P<0.01. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 5-26. Effect of coat colo r on carcass ribeye area. P<0.001. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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113 Figure 5-27. Effect of coat color on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg. P<0.05. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05. Figure 5-28. Effect of coat colo r on carcass yield grade. P<0.05. a,b Means with different superscripts differ P<0.05.

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114 Figure 5-29. Effect of color pa ttern on hot carcass weight. P=0.72. Figure 5-30. Effect of color patte rn on carcass quality grade. P=0.63.

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115 Figure 5-31. Effect of color patte rn on carcass ribeye area. P=0.30. Figure 5-32. Effect of co lor pattern on carcass ribeye area per 100 kg. P=0.55.

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116 Figure 5-33. Effect of color patte rn on carcass yield grade. P=0.80. Figure 5-34. Effect of hair shedding ch aracteristics on hot carcass weight. P=0.74.

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117 Figure 5-35. Effect of hair shedding char acteristics on carcass quality grade. P=0.44. Figure 5-36. Effect of hair shedding charac teristics on carcass ribe ye area per 100 kg. P=0.40.

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118 Figure 5-37. Effect of hair shedding ch aracteristics on carcass yield grade. P=0.35.

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119 APPENDIX DIET COMPOSITION Table A-1. Feedlot starting ration and finishing ration com position and nutrient profile on a dry matter basis. Starting Ration Finishing Ration Ingredient Flaked Corn 32.0% 26.6% Flaked Milo 21.5% 26.7% High Moisture Corn 0.0% 26.7% Distillers Grains 11.1% 9.5% Corn Silage 7.3% 2.5% Alfalfa Hay 16.2% 0.0% Animal Fat 0.0% 1.5% Supplement a 11.9% 6.5% Nutrient Composition Crude Protein 16.9% 13.9% Calcium 1.00% 0.67% Phosphorus 0.40% 0.35% NEm, Mcal/kg 2.00 2.24 NEg, Mcal/kg 1.28 1.50 a Contained molasses, urea, vitamin premix, mineral supplements, Rumensin and Tylan.

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120 LIST OF REFERENCES Alkire, D. O. and T. A. Thrift. 2005. Effect s of feeding citrus pulp supplem ents on the performance of calves in a preconditioni ng program. Florida Beef Report. p. 81. Antonini, C., M. Trabalza-Marinucci, R. Frances chini, L. Mughetti, G. Acuti, A. Faba, G. Asdrubali, and C. Boiti. 2006. In vivo mechan ical and in vitro electromagnetic sideeffects of a ruminal transponder in cattle J. Anim. Sci. 2006 84: 3133. Cattle Fax. 1995. Price premiums on Angus-influenced cattle in the commercial marketplace. Englewood, CO. Christian, L. L., E. R. Hauser, and A. B. Chapman. 1965. Association of preweaning and postweaning traits with w eaning weight in cattle J Anim Sci 24: 652. Cole, N. A. 1985. Preconditioning calves for the feedlot. Vet. Clin. North Am. Food Anim. Pract. 1:401. Conill, C., G. Caja, R. Nehring, and O. Ribo. 2000. Effects of injecti on position and transponder size on the performance of pa ssive injectable transponders used for the electronic identification of cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 78:3001. Cravey, M. D. 1996. Preconditioning : Effect on feedlot performance. Proc. Southwest Nutrition and Management Conference, Phoenix, AZ. Crockett, J. R., F. S. Baker, Jr., J. W. Carp enter, and M. Koger. 1979. Preweaning, feedlot, and carcass characteristics of calves sired by continental, Brahman, and Brahman-derivative sires in subtropical Florida. J. Anim. Sci. 49:900. Crouse, J. D., L.V. Cundiff, R. M. Koch, M. Koohmaraie, and S. C. Seideman. 1989. Comparisons of Bos indicus and Bos taurus inheritance for carca ss beef characteristics and meat palatability. J. Anim. Sci. 67:2661. Dhuyvetter, K. C., A. M. Bryant, and D. A. Blasi. 2005. Case Study: Preconditioning beef calves: Are expected pr emiums sufficient to justify th e practice? Prof. Anim.Sci. 21:502. Fordyce, G. E., R. M. Dodt, and J. R. Wythes. 1988. Cattle temperaments in extensive beef herds in northern Queensland. 1. Factors affecting temperament. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 28:683. Fortin, A., S. Simpefendorfer, J. T. Reid, H. J. Ayala, R. Anrique, and A. F. Kertz. 1980. Effect of level of energy intake a nd influence of breed and sex on the chemical composition of cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 51:604. Fulton, R. W., B. J. Cook, D. L. Ste p, A. W. Confer, J. T. Saliki, M. E. Payton, L. J. Burge, R. D. Welsh, and K. S. Blood. 2002. Evaluation of heal th status of calves and the impact on feedlot performance: Assessment of a re tained ownership program for postweaning calves. Can. J. Vet. Res. 66:173.

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121 Ghirardi, J. J., G. Caja, D. Ga rin, J. Casellas, and M. Hernandez-Jover. 2006. Evaluation of the retention of electronic identific ation boluses in the forestomac hs of cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 84:2260. Gilbert, R. P. and D. R. Bailey 1991. Hair co at characteristics and postweaning growth of Hereford and Angus cattle J. Anim. Sci. 69: 498. Gresham, J. D., C. J. Milton, and J. D. Bartee. 2000. Electronic sorting of feeder cattle into uniform lots to increase feedlot profit pot ential. Extension bul. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville. Grona, A. D., J. D. Tatum, K. E. Belk, G. C. Smith, and F. L. Williams. 2002. An evaluation of the USDA standards for feeder cattle frame size and muscle thickness. J. Anim. Sci. 80:560. Hearnshaw, H., and C. A. Morris. 1984. Genetic and environmental effects on a temperament score in beef cattle. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 35:723. Hedrick, H. B., G. B. Thompson, and G. F. Krause. 1969. Comparison of feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of half-sib bulls steers, and heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 29:687. Herrick, J. B. 1969. Preconditioning, its national status. J. Amer. Vet. Med. Assoc. 154:1163. Hickey, M. C., M. Drennan, and B. Earley. 2003. Th e effect of abrupt weaning of suckler calves on the plasma concentrations of cortisol, catecholamines, leukocytes, acute-phase proteins and in vitro interferon-gamma production. J Anim Sci 81: 2847. Huffman, R. D., S. E. Williams, D. D. Harg rove, D. D. Johnson, and T. T. Marshall. 1990. Effects of percentage Brahman and Angus br eeding, age-season of f eeding and slaughter end point on feedlot performance and carca ss characteristics. J. Anim. Sci. 68:2243. King, M. E., M. D. Salman, T. E. Wittum, K. G. Odde, J. T. Seeger, D. M. Grotelueschen, G. M. Rogers, and G. A. Quakenbush. 2006. Effect of certified health programs on the sale price of beef calves marketed through a liv estock videotape auction service from 1995 through 2005. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 229:1389. Kreikemeier, K. K., J. T. Johns, G. L. Stokka, K. D. Bullock, T. T. Marston, and D. L. Harmon. 1997. The effect of the timing of vaccinati on on health and growth performance of commingled calves. J. Anim. Sci. 75(Suppl. 1):37(Abstr.). Kreikemeier, K. K., and J. A. Unruh. 1993. Carcass traits and the occurren ce of Dark Cutters in pregnant and nonpregnant feedlot heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 71:1699. Lalman, D. L. and R. A. Smith. 2001. Effects of preconditioning on health, performance and prices of weaned calves. Extension Fact Sheet F-3529. Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater.

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122 Loerch, S. C., F. L. Fluharty, and P. A. Tira basso. 2001. Effect of source and color of cattle on performance of steers in the OARDC Feedlo t. Special Circular 181-01. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Marion, W. F., M. E. Dikeman, and A. D. Dayt on 1980. Performance and composition of steers and heifers of two biological types related to net energy for production efficiency. J. Anim. Sci. 51: 882. McKenna, D. R., D. L. Roebert, P. K. Bates, T. B. Schmidt, D. S. Hale, D. B. Griffin, J. W. Savell, J. C. Brooks, J. B. Morgan, T. H. Montgomery, K. E. Belk, and G. C. Smith. 2002. National Beef Quality Audit-2000: surv ey of targeted cattle and carcass characteristics related to quality, quantity, and value of fed steers and heifers J. Anim. Sci. 80: 1212. McNeill, J. 2001. 2000-2001 Texas Ranch to Rail North/South Summary Report. Texas Ag. Ex. Service, Texas A&M Univ., College Station. Micro Beef Technologies. 2006. What is ACCU-TRAC? http://www.microbeef.com/accutrac_ecm/ accu_what4.htm l Accessed October 23, 2006. Minert, J. R., F. K. Brazel, T. C. Schroeder, and O. Grunewald. 1988. Feeder cattle and cow price differentials at Kansas cattle auc tions, Fall 1986 and Spring 1987. Kansas State Ag. Exp. Station report of progress #547. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Minyard, J. A., and C. A. Dinkel. 1965. Weaning weight of beef calves as affected by age and sex of calf and age of dam. J. Anim. Sci. 24: 1067. Nour, A. Y. M., M. L. Thonney, J. R. Stouffer, and W. R. C. White, Jr. 1983. Changes in carcass weight and characteristics with increasing wei ght of large and small cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 57:1154. NRC. 1996. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. (7th Ed.). Na tl. Acad. Press,Washington, DC. Pate, F. M., and J. R. Crockett. 1978. Value of preconditioning beef calves. EDIS doc. BUL 799, Florida Coop. Ext. Service. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville. Peacock, F. M., M. Koger, A. Z. Palmer, J. W. Carpenter, and T. A. Olsen. 1982. Additive breed and heterosis effects for indivi dual and maternal influences on feedlot gain and carcass traits of Angus, Brahman, Charolais, a nd crossbred steers. J. Anim. Sci. 55:797. Pell, E. W. and W. V. Thayne. 1978. Factors in fluencing weaning weight and grade of West Virginia beef calves. J. Anim. Sci. 46: 596. Pritchard, R. H. and J. K. Mendez. 1990. Eff ects of preconditioning on preand post-shipment performance of feeder calves. J. Anim. Sci. 68:28.

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123 Pyatt, N. A., L. L. Berger, D. B. Faulkner, P. M. Walker, and S. L. R odriguez-Zas. 2005. Factors affecting carcass value and prof itability in early-weaned Simmental steers: II. Days on feed endpoints and sorting stra tegies. J. Anim. Sci. 83:2926. Sartwelle, J. D. III, F. K. Brazle, J. R. Mine rt, T. C. Schroeder, and M. R. Langemeier. 1996. Improving the value of your calf crop: The impact of selected characteristics on calf prices. Coop. Ext Service MF2142. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. SAS. 2003. SAS Users Guide: Statis tics. SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC. Savell, J. D., M. J. Hersom, and T. A. Thri ft. 2007. Effects of feed ing soybean hulls on calf performance during preconditioning. 2007 Florid a Beef Report p.69. Univ of Florida, Gainesville. Savell, J. D., M. J. Hersom, J. D. Arthington, and T. A. Thrift. 2008. Masters defense. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville. Schoonmaker, J. P., S. C. Loerch, F. L. Fluharty, H. N. Zerby, and T. B. Turner. 2002. Effect of age at feedlot entry on performance and car cass characteristics of bulls and steers J. Anim. Sci. 80: 2247. Sherbeck, J. A., J. D. Tatum, T. G. Fiel d, J. B. Morgan, and G. C. Smith. 1995. Feedlot performance, carcass traits, and palatability traits of Hereford and Hereford x Brahman steers. J. Anim. Sci. 73:3613. Sherbeck, J. A., J. D. Tatum, T. G. Field, J. B. Morgan, and G. C. Smith. 1996. Effect of phenotypic expression of Brahma n breeding on marbling and tenderness traits. J. Anim. Sci. 74:304. Snowder, G. D., L. D. Van Vleck, L. V. Cundi ff, and G. L. Bennett. 2006. Bovine respiratory disease in feedlot cattle: Envi ronmental, genetic, and economic factors. J. Anim. Sci. 84:1999. Speer, N. C., G. Slack, and E. Troyer. 2001. Ec onomic factors associated with livestock transportation. J. Anim. Sci. 79(E. Suppl.):E166. Tanner, J. E., R. R. Frahm, R. L. Willham, a nd J. V. Whiteman. 1970. Sire x sex interactions and sex differences in growth and carcass traits of Angus bulls, steers and heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 31: 1058. Thrift, F. A., S. M. Keeney, and D. L. Appl egate. 1994. Elevated body te mperature differences expressed by stocker cattle processed thr ough a Central Kentucky stockyard. Prof. Anim. Sci. 10;139. Trenkle, A. H. 2001. Effects of sorting steer calves on feedlot pe rformance and carcass value. Beef Res. Rep., A. S. Leaflet R1740. Iowa State Univ., Ames.

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124 Turner, H. G., and A. V. Schleger. 1960. Analysis of coat characteristics. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 11:645. USDA. 1995. Preparation of repor ts. Feeder cattle reporting. LGMN Instruction No. 933-4. Agric. Marketing Serv ice, Washington, DC. USDA. NAHMS. Baseline reference of f eedlot health and health management. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ceah/ncahs/nahm s/feedlot/feedlot99/FD99pt2.pdf Accessed June 18, 2006. Voisinet, B. D., T. Grandin, J. D. Tatum, S. F. OConnor, and J. J. Struthers. 1997. Feedlot cattle with calm temperaments have higher average daily gains than cattle with excitable temperaments. J. Anim. Sci. 75:892. Warwick, E. J. 1958. Effects of high temperatures on growth and fattening in beef cattle, hogs and sheep. J. Hered. 49:69. Williams, C. L., M. R. Langemeier, J. Minter t, and T. C. Schroeder. 1993. Profitability differences between steers and heifers. Kans as State University Cooperative Extension Service. MF-1075. Woodward, R. R., F. J. Rice, J. R. Quesenberry, R. L. Hiner, R. T. Clark, and F. A. Wilson. 1959. Relationships between measures of perf ormance, body form, and carcass quality of beef cattle. USDA, ARS Bul. 550. Woolums, A. R., G. H. Loneragan, L. L. Hawkins, and S. M. Williams. 2005. Baseline management practices and animal health da ta reported by US feedlots responding to a survey regarding acute interstitial pneumonia. Bovine Pract. 39:116. Wyatt, W. E., T. D. Bidner, P. E. Humes, D. E. Franke, and D. C. Blouin. 2002. Cow-calf and feedlot performance of Brahman-deri vative breeds. J. Anim. Sci. 80:3037. Zinn, D. W., R. M. Durham, and H. B. Hedric k. 1970. Feedlot and carcass grade characteristics of steers and heifers as influenced by days on feed. J. Anim. Sci. 31: 302.

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125 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jesse Dan S avell was born in Panama City, Florida, on January 26, 1980, to Hollis B. Savell Jr. and Marilyn I. Savell. He was raised on a small seed stock cattle operation in Chipley, Florida where he was active in 4-H and FFA. Jesse graduated from Chipley High School with High Honors in 1998. The author then attended Ch ipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, where he received his Associate of Arts degree. Jesse completed his Bachelor of Science degree, graduating Cum Laude, in Animal Sciences at the University of Florida on August 9, 2003. After graduation the author was accepted into a graduate program in Animal Sciences at the University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. Todd Thrift. During his graduate program Jesse managed the University of Florida Beef Teaching Unit. The author also served as a teaching assistant for several animal science courses including animal nutrition, cow-calf management, stocker-feedlot management, large animal practicum, and introduction to animal science.