Feedlot Nutrition and Nutrition Management

Effects of Sorting Steer Calves on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Value

  • Allen Trenkle (Iowa State University)


Three groups of steer calves totaling 480 head were sorted into smaller and larger frame sizes, and those groups were sorted into groups with more and less backfat. There was no difference in age among the four sorted groups. The larger steers and steers with less fat had faster rates of gain and tended to have superior feed efficiencies. Steers with more initial fat were fed fewer days. The larger framed steers and steers with less fat had heavier carcasses, less carcass backfat, more yield grade 1 carcasses and a lower percentage of Choice carcasses, but they also had greater value per carcass when evaluated using a grid paying premiums for quality and yield grades. The greatest profit to the feedyard was realized from the smaller framed steers and those with less initial backfat. For similar profit it was calculated that the larger steers should have been discounted as feeders $3.50 per hundred compared with the smaller steers and the steers with more fat discounted $5.00 per hundred compared with those having less initial fat. The results of this study suggest that sorting based on initial fat thickness may have more potential for enhancing the value of finished cattle than sorting based on frame score.

Keywords: ASL R1740

How to Cite:

Trenkle, A., (2002) “Effects of Sorting Steer Calves on Feedlot Performance and Carcass Value”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2002
Peer Reviewed