Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production, Posieux

Economic aspects of steer fattening with six different breeds. Part 1

The results of a fattening trial with steers covering the weight range 300 kg LW to optimum fatness score were used for an economic analysis comparing the breeds Angus (AN), Simmental (SI), Charolais (CH), Limousin (LI), Blonde d’Aquitaine (BL) and Piemontese (PI). More than 95 % of margin variations are attributed to differences in purchasing costs and produce of sales. Factors of success are: dressing percentage, carcass conformation, and matching the degree of precocity with the feeding intensity such that growth is optimized within the limits set by the market. Under the conditions of the trial, the LI and CH breeds realized the best combination of the factors determining the economic result. Thus, they reached the highest comparable margin per large animal pen unit. There is evidence for better returns for the early maturing breeds AN and SI when maximizing the slaughter weight. The economic result of the late maturing breeds BL and PI can be improved. The corresponding possibilities are presented in part 2.

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