Current trends in the United States dairy industry suggest that crossbred beef × dairy calves are replacing a proportion of the calf-fed Holstein steers slaughtered for beef each year. Economic pressures value preweaned beef × dairy calves at a premium over preweaned dairy bull calves; however, there is little modern data to support that intensively fed crossbred calves maintain their premium value over dairy steers across the supply chain. Data from international production systems and from historic research suggests that beef × dairy cattle had greater average daily gains and converted feed to gain more efficiently than dairy steers. Regarding carcass characteristics, across the literature crossbreds consistently yielded heavier carcasses that had lower proportions of trim than dairy steers. Fewer comparisons of beef × dairy and dairy steers exist in the literature for other economically relevant carcass characteristics such as ribeye area, backfat, marbling, tenderness, and eating quality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology