Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version



2019 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


Copyright © The Board Regents of the University of Nebraska.


A pooled analysis of 21 finishing trials (2002–2016; 1530 animals) with cattle individually fed in Calan gate barns was conducted. Mixed model regression analysis following random coefficient methodology was used to evaluate relationships between performance variables and carcass characteristics. Gain had a greater effect on efficiency (R2 = 0.72) compared to intake (R2 = 0.02). The relationship between gain and efficiency was cubic, while intake had a quadratic relationship. The cubic response of gain relative to efficiency was continually increasing with relatively slight curves in the line heavily influenced by points that lay on the ends of the data. Efficiency also had cubic relationships with fat thickness and marbling of carcasses; however, the regressions had low R2 values of 0.01. There was a significant relationship between efficiency and fat thickness and marbling, but the variation around the trend line was high. Efficiency alone is a poor predictor of fat thickness and marbling.