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Performance of beef x Holstein steers superior to straight-bred Holsteins

Beef on dairy crossbreeding is a booming trend in the U.S., with national beef semen sales increasing by nearly 6.5 million units from 2017 to 2023. But how do these beef x dairy feeder calves perform in the feedlot and after processing? A new study in Applied Animal Science is helping provide answers and demonstrates that beef x Holstein feeder calves tend to outperform Holstein feeder calves when it comes to feed efficiency, carcass yield, and overall value. It also showed these steers tend to produce value similar to beef-type steers.

"Some feeder calves for meat production in the U.S. originate from dairy farms as crosses of the dairy cow breed and a beef breed sire," explains David Beede, PhD, editor in chief of the journal. "Also, the majority of purebred Holstein male and some female calves are fed for meat production. This research evaluates feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of beef x Holstein crossbred steer calves meeting hide color specifications for Certified Angus Beef compared with straight-bred Holstein steer calves. Feeder calf value also is assessed."

February 12, 2024


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