Effects of Ractopamine hydrochloride and Zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation on carcass Cutability of calf-fed Holstein steers

S. T. Howard, D. R. Woerner, D. J. Vote, J. A. Scanga, R. J. Acheson, P. L. Chapman, T. C. Bryant, J. D. Tatum, K. E. Belk

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Effects of ractopamine hydrochloride (RH) and zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) on saleable yield of carcass sides from calf-fed Holstein steers were evaluated using steers implanted with a progesterone (100 mg) plus estradiol benzoate (10 mg) implant followed by a terminal trenbolone acetate (200 mg) plus estradiol (40 mg) implant. Steers were blocked by weight into pens (n = 32) randomly assigned to one of four treatments: control, RH fed at 300 mg steer-1/d-1 (RH 300) or RH fed at 400 mg steer-1/d-1 (RH 400) the final 31d of finishing, and ZH fed at 60 to 90 mg steer-1/d-1 (7.56 g/ton on a 100% DM basis) for 21 d with a 5d withdrawal before harvest. Eight to nine carcass sides were randomly selected from each pen; carcass sides with excessive hide pulls, fat pulls or bruises were avoided. Cutout data were collected within a commercial facility using plant personnel to fabricate sides at a rate of one every 3 to 4 min into items typically merchandised by the facility. All lean, fat and bone were weighed and summed back to total chilled side weight with a sensitivity of ± 2% to be included in the data set. Compared to controls, β-agonists increasedsaleable yield of whole-muscle cuts by 0.61%, 0.86% and 1.95% for RH 300, RH 400 and ZH, respectively (P < 0.05). Percent fat was less in carcasses from the ZH treatment compared to controls (P < 0.05); however, this difference was not observed between RH treatments and controls (P> 0.05). Percent bone was less in the ZH treatment due to increased muscle (P < 0.05). The percent of chilled side weight comprised of trimmings was unchanged between treatments, but on a 100% lean basis, RH 400 and ZH increased trim yields (P < 0.05). Analysis of saleable yield by primal showed a fundamental shift in growth and development. Beta-agonists caused a shift in proportion of saleable yield within individual primals, with a greater portion produced from the hindquarter relative to the forequarter, specifically in those muscles of the round (P< 0.05). Beta-agonists increased saleable yield, but these effects were not constant between all major primals. The cutout value gained by packers as a result of β-agonist use may be influenced more by reduced fatness and increased absolute weight if musculature is primarily increased in the lower priced cuts of the carcass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Calf-fed Holstein
  • Ractopamine
  • Steer
  • Subprimal yield
  • Zilpaterol


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