Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

Fattening performance of Angus and Hérens yearlings on a semi-intensive finishing diet after weaning

The suitability of an herbage based, semi-intensive finishing diet was tested in an indoor feeding trial with two beef cattle types. Castrated male and female (1:3) Angus and Herens suckler calves were weaned at the age of 10 months. They were raised by suckler cows which were exclusively fed grassland based forage. The basic finishing diet consisted of grass silage and hay which were mixed at a ratio of 3:1 on a dry matter basis. During the first three months, the supplementation of the basic ration was kept to a minimum. A supplemental energy-rich concentrate was used only during the final phase of finishing. This marked the moment of increased growth rates of +18 % compared to the pre-weaning growth period. On average, Angus and Herens yearlings attained growth rates of 1.1 kg and 0.9 kg/day, respectively. The post-weaning finishing markedly improved carcase conformation (meatiness). With respect to the finishing degree, 50 % of Angus and 13 % of Herens were judged overfat although carcase weight did not exceed 250 kg. In conclusion, the results support the suitability of the chosen finishing mode for both cattle types. However, feeding intensity should be reduced slightly when finishing Angus yearlings.

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