Background and Methodology
Studies have shown that forage finishing of cattle has had negative consequences on carcass tenderness and organoleptic properties of the meat. This study determined performance, carcass characteristics and organoleptic properties of steers finished on rhizoma peanuts-mixed tropical grass pasture compared with feedlot concentrate finishing.
Average daily gain during the growing and finishing periods was lower (P<.001) for forage-finished steers (.49 and .94 kg/d, respectively) than concentrate-finished steers 9.78 and 1.33kg/d, respectively). Forage finished steers had less fat over the ribeye (8.3 vs. 11.4 mm; P<.01), lighter hot carcass weight (280 vs. 346 kg; P<.001), and smaller longissimus muscle area (70.8 vs. 86.6 cm2; P<.001) than concentrate steers. Yield grade was not different (2.7 vs. 2.6; P>.10), but quality grade was slightly better for concentrate-finished steers. Lean color of forage-finished steers was darker (P<.001) and fat of forage-finished steers had a creamier color (P<.001). Off-flavors were detected in 36% of forage-finished and 14% of concentrate finished carcasses. The dark lean color and poor tenderness of carcasses finished on rhizoma peanut may reduce beef quality.
Bennett, L.L., Hammond, A. C., Williams, M. J., Kunkle, W. E., Johnson, D. D. Preston, R. L., & Miller, M. F. (1995). Performance, Carcass Yield, and Carcass Quality Characteristics of Steers Finished on Rhizoma Peanut (Arachis glabrata) –Tropical Grass pasture or Concentrate. J. Anim. Sci. 73:1881-1887.