The aim of beef production is to produce a high quality product with maximum efficiency. Factors that affect the carcass composition and carcass yield are:
- Weight and age
- Growth rate and nutrition
A typical growth curve involves a self-accelerating phase of weight increase from birth to puberty of the animal. During this phase, growth hormones are mainly responsible for the growth process. The second phase of growth (puberty to adulthood) has lower rates of weight increase and is controlled mostly by the different sex hormones. Relative growth of different body parts, tissue types, etc. take place according to an allometric growth equation. The development order is consistent with survival of the animal in the early stages of life. I.e. brain, bone tissue, muscle tissue and fat will develop in this order. Low fat levels in the young calf, due to its young age, can have serious implications in its survival and growth rate potential. Distribution of muscle weight, together with bone and fat proportions, will determine the quality of the carcass. Quality of the meat product is a function of maximum edible yield (muscle and fat) with minimum waste (bone and excess fat) according to consumer preference. Knowledge of growth patterns and factors affecting them can be used for effective economic meat production. Holstein calves fed as grain-fed veal represent the most uniform group of cattle marketed in the beef industry. The nutrient requirements for grain-fed veal have not been researched to the extent of the other animal species. The key to successful growth rates is to plan a feeding strategy from birth for every stage of rearing to match a breeds genetic potential. Growth rates are also affected by the environment and health status.
TYPICAL GAINS FOR VEAL CALVES: GROBER VG MILK REPLACER
|Week||Live- weight (kg)||AverageVG powder (g/day)||Av. Calf starter (22%) (g/day)||Energy allowable gain (kg/day)||Protein allowable gain (kg/day)|