-> / NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
S6 Quincy, Florida
April 11, 1961
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 61-5
HYBRID CALF FATTENING TRIAL
By F. S. Baker, Jr.
Three groups of Brahman-European hybrid calves and a control group of
Hereford and Angus calves made very satisfactory feedlot gains for 159 days
in dry lot beginning when the calves were approximately 10 months of age and
weighing about 590 to 650 pounds. Feed efficiency and cost of gain did not
differ greatly for the various groups. After conclusion of the trial, it
appeared that all groups had about the same value per 100 pounds when started
on feed. Further, a margin of about $3.00 per 100 pounds between feeder and
fat cattle prices would have been necessary for a satisfactory profit.
Eighty seven percent of the livers from the hybrid calves (which were
raised in fluke infested areas) were condemned because of live flukes. Liver
damage apparently did not adversely affect feedlot performance, but loss of the
liver itself was significant from a monetary standpoint.
With the exception of the Brahman-Charolais-Hereford calves, the hybrid
calves produced carcasses that graded as high as those of the Hereford and
Angus control cattle. Carcasses from the Charolais hybrids had somewhat less
European-Brahman hybrid carcasses had less fat cover, greater.rib eye
area, higher percentage of trimmed carcass weight, and a higher estimated yield
of closely trimmed boneless cuts than carcasses from Hereford and Angus cattle.
Large numbers of Brahman and Brahman-cross calves are available in range
areas of Florida. Improvement in type and quality of these calves, particularly
as a result of crossing with better beef bulls of British breeding, has made
them more attractive to North Florida cattle feeders. It therefore seemed timely
to compare in a fattening trial some of the better European-Brahman hybrid calves
with calves of British breeding available in the North Florida area.
Most cattle finished in North Florida are placed in the feedlots,aa 650-
to 750-pound yearlings. Because of the apparent difficulty of loc tgi table
European-Brahman hybrid yearlings in range areas, it was decided~ t'ry s&ie- of
the heavier hybrid calves, placing them in the feedlot at a l, t12 months '
younger age than the yearling-,steers usually fed in the area ft
Groups of European-Brahman hybrid calves were obtained sh'~rtly after weaning
from Clewiston and Cocoa, Florida. Ten calves each of Brahman- otithprn;
3/8 Brahman-3/8 Charolais-4 Hereford; and Brahman-* Angus-4 Herefordwere
delivered to the North Florida Experiment Station in September. These calves had
been weaned in July and maintained on a light grain ongrass ration until trucked
to Quincy. They were placed in dry lot on a light grain ration until a suitable
control group of Hereford and Angus calves of about the same age and weight was
purchased on the local market. The Hereford and Angus calves were allowed to
acquire a normal fill (16 lbs. per head heavier than purchase weight) after which
all four groups were individually tagged, weighed, and started on trial. Initial
weights were early morning weights at the feedlot with no shrink.
After weighing the calves on test, the feed was gradually increased until
after about three weeks each group was consuming all the concentrates it would
clean-up between feedings. Hay and minerals were self-fed throughout the feeding
period. Each steer was given a 24 mg. stilbestrol ear implant at the beginning
of the trial. Following was the ration fed:
Ground snapped corn full-fed according to appetite
Citrus molasses 4.0 lbs. per head daily
41% Cottonseed meal 2.5 lbs. per head daily
Coastal Bermuda grass hay self-fed
Salt and steamed bonemeal free choice
The corn and cottonseed meal were mixed, and citrus molasses was poured on
top of the mixture. Concentrates were fed once daily in the early morning. Free
access was given to hay, salt, and bonemeal. The calves were confined to dry lot
in a well-bedded steer feeding barn with about 60 square feet of pen space per
The cattle were weighed once each month in the early morning before feeding.
These intermediate weights were shrunk four percent before calculating gains for
each weigh period. Final Weights were taken after trucking to Quincy in the early
morning and were shrunk three percent. The final shrunk weights were used in
calculating gains, carcass yields, and sale prices; As previously stated, starting
weights were not shrunk. This procedure was used to minimize the fill factor in
Carcass weights were hot weights less 21 percent. Actual shipping weights
after 72 hours in the cooler were also recorded. Carcasses were graded by a U.S.
grader and assigned to one-third grades by packing house and Experiment Station
personnel. Carcasses were ribbed and degree of marbling considered in assigning
the cattle to one-third grades. Sale prices were actual prices paid by the packer
for the carcasses.
Feed costs were based on local prices at the time the cattle were in the
feedlot. Cost per cwt. of the feeder cattle was the appraised value by Quincy
Livestock Company at the beginning of the feeding period. The item reported as
"other costs" was a charge of $0.10 per head daily for labor, pen rent, and other
Returns were based on actual prices paid by the packer for the carcasses.
No attempt has been made to adjust these prices on the basis of subsequent cutting
yields in Jacksonville or estimated yields of boneless cuts made by the represen-
tative of the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.
After 72 hours in the packing house cooler, the carcasses were weighed and
trucked to the Winn-Dixio Grocery Company warehouse in Jacksonville. Hindquarters
and forequarters were individually weighed after being trimmed by the chain store
personnel. Shank bones, kidney knob, flanks and collar fat were removed from
hindquarters before weighing. Plates, briskets, and shanks were removed from
forequarters. Estimates of rib eye area, fat cover over rib, percentage of kidney
fat, and percentage of closely trimmed, boneless cuts were made while carcasses
were still intact.
Feed prices are shown in Table 3 and carcass prices are reported in
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Feedlot results.--Table 1 gives the feedlot results. All groups of calves
made satisfactory gains, although the Lot 4 (- Brahman-! Shorthorn) cattle gained
somewhat less than the other groups. It should be noted that the Lot 4 calves
consumed slightly loss grain and more hay than the other groups, resulting in
slightly more expensive gains. Feed efficiency and cost of gain for the other
groups did not differ greatly.
Because of slightly higher carcass grading and resulting higher sale price
per cwt., the Lot 4 calves had the highest net return above costs if the feeder
cattle were valued at the appraised price made by the local feeder buyer. Lot 7
calves (Hereford and Angus) had the lowest return because of the relatively higher
appraised value per cwt. going into the feedlot.
If actual feed and other costs are deducted from the gross sale price of
each group, the remainder would represent the maximum value of the feeder calves
going into the feedlot. As shown in Table 1, initial values per 100 pounds did
not differ greatly for the various groups,
Sale price minus feed costs and other feedlot costs x 100 = Maximum initial value
Weight of feeder cattle going into feedlot
These values point to the need for approximately $3.00 per cwt. margin between
price of feeder and fat cattle at present market prices if a profit is to be
Carcass data.--Although carcass grades did not differ greatly, cattle in
Lot 4 (Brahman-Shorthorn) graded slightly higher and calves in Lot 5 (Brahman-
Charolais-Hereford) slightly lower than those in the other groups (Table 2). The
Lot 5 cattle carcasses had somewhat less marbling. Carcass yields, however, were
slightly higher for the Lot 5 group both on a hot weight less 2 percent and a
72 hour chilled weight basis. It should be noted that all groups had very
satisfactory carcass yields and that differences between groups were very small.
Table 1. Feedlot Results Hybrid Calf Feeding Trial, 1960-61.
Number head 10 10 10 10
Number days 159 159 159 159
Ave. initial weight 588 649 629 610
Ave. final weight 919 1017 988 90E6
Ave. gain 331 368 3.59 377
Ave. daily gain 2,_08 2.32 2.26 2,37
Average Daily Ration:
Ground snapped corn 14.70 16.61 16.07 17.45
Citrus molasses 3.99 3.9o 3.99 3.99
l1% Cottonseed meal 2.48 2,48 2.48 2.48
Coastal Bermuda hay 3.75 2.95 2.62 2.14
Feed Per 100 Pounds Gain:
Concentrates 1018 996 999 1010
Hay 180 127 116 91
Mineral 1.9 2.6 2.0 1,4
Cost $ 22.85 $ 21.86 $ 21,80 $ 21,72
Carcass and Financial Data
Ave. slaughter weight 919 1017 988 986
Ave. carcass weight** 562 628 606 606
Ave. carcass yield (percent) 61.11 61.76 61.34 6,1,7
Ave. carcass grade High good Low good Ave. good Ave. good.
Ave. price cwt. carcass $ 39,59 $ 37.94 $ 38,55 $ 38.90
Ave. price cwt. .on foot 24.19 23.43 23.65 23.91
Ave. cost cwt. feeder- 20.50 20.50 21.50 23,00
Ave. cost head feeders 120.59 133.00 135.13 140.19
Ave. feed cos-t & other ctsts 91.50 96.A44 94.1 92.69
Ave. not- cattle a rn f'Pd 212.09 229.114 ?29-27 237.88
Sale price per head 222.37 238.31 233.52 235.75
Net return above costs / 10.28 / 8,88 /-4,25 2.12
Sale price per head $ 222.37 $ 238.31 $ 233.52 $ 235.75
Feed cost 75.60 80.54 78.24 81.79
Other Costs 15.90 15.90 15.90 15.90
Initial value (sale price less
costs) 130.87 141.87 139.38 138.06
Initial value cwt. 22.25 21.87 22.18 22.65
SInitial weight at feedlot not shrunk -
shrunk 3 percent.
SHot weight less 24 percent.
final weight in Quincy at packing plant
Table 2. Carcass Data Hybrid Calf Feeding Trial, 1960-61.
Lot 4 Lot 5 Lot 6 Lot 7
2 Brahman 3/8 Brahman Brahman Hfreford.
1 Shorthorn 3/8 Charolais ; Angus and
Hereford Hereford Angus
Weight on foot at slaughter
Hot weight carcass less 21 percent
Carcass yield (percent)
Shipping weight (72 hrs.)
Cooler shrink (percent)
Carcass yield (shinoine weight)
Carcass grades 1 ave. choice -- -.--
1 low 2 low
2 low choice choice choice
3 high ood 1 high 3 high
3 high good goood
3 ave. 2 ave.
4 aves good 2 ave. good goao good
5 low 3 low
-----5 low good gaod g
-----1 high std. -
----- 2 ave. std. -- --
Wt. trimmed hinds* 205 237*** 228 216
Percent hinds,- 36.20 37.24 37.22 35.31
Wt. trimmed fronts 204 233F-F- 219 223
Percent fronts,8- 36.10 36.63 35.75 36.49
Wt. trimmed carcass* 409 470w*,- 446 439
Percent trimmed carcass':- 72.30 73.87 72.97 71.80
U. S. Grading Service Estimates: -"*
Fat cover, rib eve (inches) 0.43 0.24 0.40 0.63
Area rib eye (square inches) 9.45 11.54 10.80 9.70
Percent kidney fat 2.13 1.54 1.73 2.00
Percent closely trimmed,
boneless, rib, chuck, loin,
rumor. and round 49.35 51.76 50.33 48.18
Percent cutout of W,D. trimmed wt. 68.26 70.07 68.97 67.11
At Winn-Dixie Grocery Co. Warehouse, Jacksonville, Florida.
,** of shipping weight
,*** Wts, at Winn-Dixie and Grading Service estimates do not include 3 standard
Among the hybrid calves, which were raised in liver fluke infested areas,
9 livers from Lot 4, 8 livers from Lot 5, and 9 livers from Lot 6 were condemned
because of live flukes. All livers from the British control Lot 7 were passed.
Fluke infestation apparently did not influence performance, but of course loss
of livers caused a significant monetary loss.
Percentages of trimmed carcass weights in Jacksonville were slightly higher
for the Brahman-European hybrid calves than for the British control group.
Carcasses of the Lot 5 (Brahman-Charolais-Hereford) cattle had the highest trimmed
weight yield. It should be noted that the higher percentages of trimmed hind-
quarters of the hybrid calves was largely responsible for the higher trimmed
carcass yields as compared with Hereford and Angus control calves.
There was less fat cover over the rib eye and greater rib eye area in the
hybrid cattle carcasses, especially in the Brahman-Charolais-Hereford cattle (Lot
5). Following were the average square inches of rib eye per 100 pounds carcass
weight for the four groups:
Lot 4 (1 Brahman-j Shorthorn) 1.67
Lot 5 (3/8 Brahman-3/8 Charolais-I Hereford) 1.82
Lot 6 (4 Brahman- Angus-1 Hereford) 1.76
Lot 7 (Hereford and Angus) 1.59
Similarly, estimated yields of closely trimmed, boneless cuts, made by a
representative of the Agricultural Marketing Service, were highest for the Lot 5
(Brahman-Charolais-Hereford) cattle and lowest for the Lot 7 (Hereford and Angus)
The U.S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston; A. Duda and Sons, Cocoa; and the
Eastern Brahman Association, Kissimmee supplied the calves for this trial.
Suber Edwards Packing Company (Frosty Morn meats), Quincy, slaughtered the
cattle and assisted in collecting experimental data.
Winn-Dixie Grocery Company, Jacksonville, cooperated in obtaining trimmed
Dr. David K. Hallett, Agricultural Marketing Service, and Drs. A. Z. Palmer
and J. W. Carpenter made estimated yields of boneless cuts.
Table 3. Feed Prices
Ground snapped corn
41% Cottonseed meal
Coastal Bermuda grass hay
24 mg. stilbestrol implants
Table 4. Prices received for carcasses.