Research Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 6, P602-612, December 2014

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Ameta-analysis of effects of nutrition and management during the stocker and backgrounding phase on subsequent finishing performance and carcass characteristics

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      The objective of this research was to conduct a meta-analysis of published studies to determine the effect of nutrition and management strategies during the stocker and backgrounding phase on subsequent finishing performance and carcass characteristics. Data sets were compiled to compare 1) the effect of calf-fed versus yearling production systems (n=10 experiments), 2) level of dietary starch during backgrounding (n=13 experiments), and 3) regression of subsequent finishing performance and carcass characteristics on stocker-phase ADG and initial finishing BW (n=29 experiments). Data were analyzed using mixed-model ANOVA or regression (Proc MIXED of SAS), and least squares means or regression coefficients were weighted using the inverse of the SE of the dependent variable. Yearling cattle had greater (P0.01) ADG and DMI but lesser G:F during finishing compared with calf-fed cattle, but there was little effect in carcass characteristics. Level of dietary starch during backgrounding had no effect on subsequent finishing performance or carcass characteristics. When adjusted for differences in initial finishing BW, ADG, and DMI, but not G:F, during finishing had a negative relationship (P0.05) with stocker-phase ADG. Moreover, HCW, LM area, and KPH were positively related (P0.01) with stocker-phase ADG and initial finishing BW, but when adjusted for rib fat thickness and HCW, marbling score had no relationship (P>0.10) with stocker-phase ADG or initial finishing BW. In conclusion, previous management can influence finishing performance, with the greatest factors being production system and stocker-phase ADG, but marbling score was not affected by production system, level of dietary starch during backgrounding, or stocker-phase ADG.

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