Effects of Source of Energy on Performance, Ultrasonic, Carcass, and Economic Characteristics of Early-Weaned Heifers

P. S. Bedwell, Dan B Faulkner, D. W. Shike, D. F. Parrett, L. L. Berger, F. A. Ireland, T. G. Nash

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6 Scopus citations


Angus × Simmental heifers (n = 192; BW = 253 ± 2 kg) were utilized to evaluate the effects of source of energy on performance, ultrasonic, carcass, and economic characteristics of early-weaned heifers. Treatments investigated were 1) high starch (HS); 2) intermediate starch (IS); 3) low starch (LS); and 4) pasture (PAST). The experimental growing period was 73 d. The finishing period was 103 d for the HS, IS, and LS heifers and 131 d for the PAST heifers (fed the IS diet). Gain and intake during the growing, finishing, and overall period increased linearly (P <0.01) as the level of starch decreased. During the finishing period, PAST heifers gained faster (P <0.01), ate more feed (P <0.01), and were more efficient (P = 0.04) than IS heifers. The IS heifers had more back fat, larger ribeye areas, and greater marbling scores (P <0.01) than PAST heifers after the growing period. The IS heifers also deposited more (P <0.01) marbling per day than PAST heifers during the growing, finishing, and overall period at the end of the trial. The IS heifers had greater (P <0.01) marbling scores than PAST heifers. Total cost, carcass value, and profit increased linearly (P <0.01) as starch level decreased. The IS heifers had greater (P <0.01) carcass values and were more (P <0.01) profitable than PAST heifers. This study implies that when utilizing long-fed (322 d) heifers in an accelerated finishing program, by-products can be effectively fed during the final (103 to 131 d) finishing period with no reduction in QG. Placing heifers on pasture reduced the ability of the heifers to marble in the feedlot despite faster gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Economics
  • Energy
  • Heifer
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science

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