Feedlot performance of Tanzanian Shorthorn Zebu finished on local feed resources

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Springer Nature B.V.


A study was conducted in Hanang District to assess potential for on-farm feedlot finishing of Tanzanian Shorthorn Zebu (TSHZ) in dry season using locally available feed resources. A total of 65 (2–3 years old, 150–250 kg LWT) steers were randomly distributed into two dietary treatments in three villages. The steers were finished either in feedlots using compounded diets or under free grazing in accordance with farmers’ practice. Following 90 days of feeding, all steers were slaughtered for detailed carcass and meat quality assessment. Growth performance, carcass and meat quality of experimental animals were assessed to determine feedlot performance of TSHZ. Results show that average daily gain of feedlot-finished animals (620 g/day) was nearly three-fold higher (P = 0.042) than that of grazed steers (223 g/day). Feedlot-finished steers produced 28 kg (P = 0.001) heavier carcasses than grazed ones. Carcasses from feedlot-finished steers cooled slowly as they had higher (P = 0.001) temperatures than that of grazed ones at 45 min (33.1 vs. 30.5 °C) and 6 h (21.0 vs. 19.5 °C) post-mortem. Feedlot-finished steers produced beef with higher (P = 0.003) marbling scores (3.4) than grazed ones (2.4). As a result, beef from the feedlot-finished steers was more tender (P = 0.016) than that from grazed ones, and it required 13 N less force to shear. It is concluded that TSHZ responds positively to improved feeding with significant enhancement on carcass gain and meat quality. Use of diets compounded using agro-processing by-products, instead of whole grain, can lower the cost of finishing TSHZ steers significantly.


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Beef quality, Feedlot, Local feeds, Zebu