Finishing Steers in a Deep-bedded Hoop Barn and a
Conventional Feedlot: Effects on Performance and Carcass
Characteristics during Winter in Iowa
Is Version Of
As the Iowa beef industry invests in environmental management, there has been increasing interest in systems that minimize runoff. A possible housing option used previously for pigs and sheep to help mitigate some of these environmental concerns are hoops. The objective of this study was to compare steer performance and carcass characteristics between two housing treatments; hoop confinement barn (HP n=3; 4.65m 2 /steer) vs. conventional feedlot (FD n=3; 14.7m 2 /steer). A total of 240 crossbred Bos taurus steers were used. Steers were ear tagged, implanted, and weighed (400 ± 23.38 kg) on arrival and allotted to balance weight and breed. Performance measures; average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and feed to gain ratio (F:G) were collected over the trial. Carcass characteristics; dressing percentage, hot carcass weight (HCW), fat depth over the 12 rd rib, kidney pelvic and heart fat (KPH), ribeye area (REA), marbling score, quality grade, and USDA yield grade were collected at processing by the packing plant. ADG, ADFI and F:G did not differ (P > 0.05) between housing treatments. Dressing percentage (P = 0.02) and HCW (P = 0.01) were higher for HP steers vs. FD steers between housing treatments. All other carcass characteristics did not differ (P > 0.05) between housing treatments. Therefore, housing steers in a hoop does not result in detrimental alterations in either performance or carcass characteristics when compared to steers in a conventional feedlot.