Impact of Residual Feed Intake Classification and Management Regimen on Feedlot Growth Performance, Carcass Traits, and Meat Quality in Beef Cattle
Residual feed intake (RFI) is being used to replace traditional measures of feed efficiency due to improved accuracy for determining production efficiency for cattle in a selection program. The research examined the effects of RFI classification (determined in the grower phase using a common diet) and diverse management regimens (using metabolic modifiers (implants, beta agonists) applied in the finisher phase) on growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality for 156 Angus x Simmental steers. RFI determined in the grower phase did not always predict RFI accurately for the finisher phase. Metabolic modifiers did not affect RFI classification within a production phase or RFI classification across production phases. Metabolic modifiers increased carcass leanness and decreased meat tenderness. RFI may be a valuable tool for selecting feed efficient animals, but there may be a reduction in longissimus tenderness depending on the type of metabolic modifiers used.