Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2013 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report.


Copyright © 2013 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


The objective of this study was to test the effects of lameness on average daily gain (ADG) of feedlot steers. We evaluated two feedlot health data sets: 1) 14,798 steers from a 14-year period (1993 to 2006) at the Meat Animal Research Center (USDA MARC) near Clay Center, Neb.; and 2) 16,766 steers from an 8-year period (2002 to 2009) at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center (ARDC) near Mead, Neb. The ADG for USDA MARC steers with lameness late in the feeding period (≥ 60 days) was 0.04 lb./day less than steers without lameness. The ADG for ARDC steers with lameness later in the experimental trial period (≥ 60 days) was 0.2 lb./day less than steers without lameness. Lameness in steers had a significant and meaningful negative effect on ADG later in the feeding period.