Performance, carcass, and palatability traits for cull cows fed high-energy concentrate diets for 0, 14, 28, 42, or 56 days. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cull cows, thin to moderate in initial condition scores, were randomly assigned within breed to slaughter groups and fed a high-concentrate diet for 0, 14, 28, 42 or 56 d (n = 40). Carcass data were collected, and one side of each carcass was fabricated into boneless subprimals, lean trimmings, fat, and bone. Live and carcass weights, ADG, and dressing percentage increased through 28 d of feeding (P < .05), and lean firmness increased (P < .05) through 42 d of feeding. Adjusted preliminary yield grades and final yield grades increased (P < .05) with feeding, but not to levels requiring knife trimming of fat. Fat color became whiter (P < .05) but marbling was not affected (P > .05) by feeding. Weights of fat-free lean, fat, and bone and percentages of fat in soft tissues of cow carcasses increased (P < .05) by 28 d on feed. Overall steak tenderness was higher (P < .05) for cows fed 56 d than for cows fed 0 or 14 d. Warner-Bratzler shear force was not affected by feeding. Amounts of soluble collagen increased (P < .05) in the longissimus muscle between 0 and 28 d on feed, and total collagen decreased (P < .05) in the biceps femoris muscle between 0 and 42 d on feed. Continental European cow carcasses yielded more fat-free lean and less fat (P < .05) and dairy cows generally provided the most tender product across all slaughter periods. In general, sensory tenderness and yields of cow carcass components increased without requiring excessive trimming of fat by feeding cull beef and dairy cows for periods up to 56 d.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Schnell, T. D., Belk, K. E., Tatum, J. D., Miller, R. K., & Smith, G. C.

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors

  • Schnell, TD||Belk, KE||Tatum, JD||Miller, RK||Smith, GC

publication date

  • May 1997