Relationship among performance, carcass, and feed efficiency characteristics, and their ability to predict economic value in the feedlot

K. M. Retallick, D. B. Faulkner, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, J. D. Nkrumah, D. W. Shike

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    A 4-yr study was conducted using 736 steers of known Angus, Simmental, or Simmental × Angus genetics to determine performance, carcass, and feed efficiency factors that explained variation in economic performance. Steers were pen fed and individual DMI was recorded using a GrowSafe automated feeding system (GrowSafe Systems Ltd., Airdrie, Alberta, Canada). Steers consumed a similar diet and received similar management each year. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine current economic value of feed efficiency and 2) identify performance, carcass, and feed efficiency characteristics that predict: carcass value, profit, cost of gain, and feed costs. Economic data used were from 2011 values. Feed efficiency values investigated were: feed conversion ratio (FCR; feed to gain), residual feed intake (RFI), residual BW gain (RG), and residual intake and BW gain (RIG). Dependent variables were carcass value ($/steer), profit (&dollar;/steer), feed costs (&dollar;/steer ·d-1), and cost of gain (&dollar;/kg). Independent variables were year, DMI, ADG, HCW, LM area, marbling, yield grade, dam breed, and sire breed. A 10% improvement in RG (P < 0.05) yielded the lowest cost of gain at &dollar;0.09/ kg and highest carcass value at &dollar;17.92/steer. Carcass value increased (P < 0.05) as feed efficiency improved for FCR, RG, and RIG. Profit increased with a 10% improvement in feed efficiency (P < 0.05) with FCR at &dollar;34.65/steer, RG at &dollar;31.21/steer, RIG at &dollar;21.66/steer, and RFI at &dollar;11.47/steer. The carcass value prediction model explained 96% of the variation among carcasses and included HCW, marbling score, and yield grade. Average daily gain, marbling score, yield grade, DMI, HCW, and year born constituted 81% of the variation for prediction of profit. Eighty-five percent of the variation in cost of gain was explained by ADG, DMI, HCW, and year. Prediction equations were developed that excluded ADG and DMI, and included feed efficiency values. Using these equations, cost of gain was explained primarily by FCR (R2 = 0.71). Seventy-three percent of profitability was explained, with 55% being accounted for by RG and marbling. These prediction equations represent the relative importance of factors contributing to economic success in feedlot cattle based on current prices.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5954-5961
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of animal science
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 2013


    • Carcass characteristics
    • Feed efficiency
    • Feedlot economics
    • Performance

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Genetics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship among performance, carcass, and feed efficiency characteristics, and their ability to predict economic value in the feedlot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this