Effects of Management Regimen, Residual Feed Intake and Reranking on Performance, Carcass and Meat Quality in Beef Steers
Residual feed intake (RFI) is a measurement of feed efficiency and is becoming a popular trait used in genetic selection. This study evaluated the effects of RFI classification on beef cattle performance, carcass and meat quality and its repeatability between growing and finishing phases of production. Cattle were managed on two different nutritional management regimens consisting of finishing on a high grain diet or backgrounding cattle prior to being finished on a high grain diet. Extensive RFI reranking occurred between production phases. Reranking was positively correlated with longissimus muscle area but did not influence other carcass and meat quality parameters. Growing phase RFI classification had a minimal effect on carcass traits, while low RFI classified steers in the finishing phase produced bigger ribeyes. High RFI steers produced juicier and more tender beef compared to low RFI steers assessed using taste panel and consumer evaluations.