Residual feed intake (RFI) is defined as the difference between an animal’s actual feed intake and its expected intake requirements for maintenance and growth. Minimal research has been conducted in the United States to determine the correlation of RFI to carcass characteristics in Bos indicus cattle. The objective of this research was to evaluate the correlation of RFI on carcass characteristics and tenderness of Brahman X Hereford steers (n = 28). The RFI to steer performance correlation values ranged from 0.06 to 0.46. There was a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between RFI and ADG from weaning to slaughter. Feed to gain ratio (FG) was negatively correlated (P < 0.05) to residual average daily gain (RADG) and residual intake and gain (RIG). The RFI to carcass characteristic correlation values ranged from 0.04 to 0.29. There was a trend (P < 0.15) of RFI being positively correlated to HCW. There was a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between FG and HCW. Dressing percentage was negatively correlated (P < 0.05) to RADG. Shear force was not correlated (P > 0.05) to RFI, and cook loss was positively correlated (P < 0.05) to RIG. Steers categorized as less inefficient (RFI < 0.5 SD above the mean) tended (P = 0.08) to have larger ribeye areas than the other RFI groups. The less efficient (RFI < 0.5 SD below the mean) steers had steaks with greater (P < 0.05) cook loss than the less inefficient and inefficient (RFI > 0.5 SD above the mean) steers.
January 13, 2017
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