Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

A. Steinwidder, L. Gruber, R. Steinwender, T. Guggenberger, M. Greimel and A. Schauer:

Influence of feeding intensity and slaughter weight on the fattening and slaughter performance of Simmental heifers


A feeding trial with 96 Simmental heifers was carried out to determine the influence of feeding intensity and slaughter weight on the fattening and slaughter performance. They were under uniform management using two different feeding intensities. The diet of group KFO consisted of forage only (grass silage ad libitum and 1 kg hay). In group KF2 2 kg concentrate (barley) were offered additionally to the forage. Representative groups were slaughtered at 400 (SGI), 450 (SGII) and 500 (SGIII) kg live weight in average. Additionally 27 heifers were fattened extensively on a low energy level from 245 to 462 kg live weight. In the group KFO daily gains continuously increased from SGI to SGIII (564, 583 adv. 604 g). The average daily weight gain of group KFO (584 g) was by 156 g lower than that of group KF2 (740 g). In group KF2 the average daily weight gain decreased with increasing body weight (SGI 757, SGII 742, SGIII 694 g). Feed efficiency of group KFO was hardly affected by slaughter weight. On the other hand, feed efficiency of group KF2 was significantly reduced at higher slaughter weights. Daily weight gains obtained in the extensive fattening trial were 482 g. Increasing slaughter weight and feeding intensity increased carcass fat content and reduced meat and bone content. Concerning the parameters of meat quality no essential influence on the quality of meat was to be noticed apart from the fat content. With regard to output it can be concluded that the marginal income was negative, irrespective of feeding intensity and slaughter weight. Key words: heifers fattening, feeding intensity, slaughter weight.