The Limousin-influenced cattle in Round 3 of Visions Quest (VQ) – the North American Limousin Foundation's (NALF's) learn-by-doing cattle-feeding and carcass-merit–discovery project – reached the 137-day mark May 5. That was the day Craig Hays from Critical Insights of Diagonal, Iowa, ultrasound-scanned the cattle.
Average ultrasound measurements for the VQ 3 cattle were 0.38 inch of rump fat, 0.42 inch of rib fat, 15.0 square inches of ribeye area (REA) and 3.58 percent intramuscular fat (IMF).
In the 137 days preceding the ultrasound scanning, the 133 steers gained an average 3.88 pounds per day, for an average weight of 1,295 pounds. The 27 heifers posted 3.90 pounds of average daily gain (ADG) and weighed 1,278 pounds on average.
NALF staff members developed a capacity-scoring system during VQ Round 2, and they are using it again in VQ 3. NALF will use the scores to study body capacity's relationships to consumption, conversion and carcass merit. The scores range from 1 to 4, with 1 indicating shallow-bodied, narrow-based animals and 4 indicating deep-bodied, wide-based animals. The average capacity score was 2.20 for the steers and 2.35 for the heifers in VQ 3.
The 10-head pens at the Colorado State University (CSU) Ag Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) north of Fort Collins allow feed-intake measurements for evaluating differences in rate, efficiency and composition of growth.
“The weather has been great compared to last year, the cattle have been eating really well, and they have never gone off feed,” said Casey Thompson, herd manager at ARDEC. “These have been some the best-consuming cattle in the three years of Visions Quest.”
JBS Swift and Co. in Greeley, Colo., will harvest the VQ 3 cattle. NALF will collect all of the carcass data and incorporate them into its expected progeny differences (EPDs).
VQ would not be possible without the support of the Limousin breeders and commercial cattle producers who enrolled cattle in Round 3.
• Running Creek Ranch, Elizabeth, Colo., 20 head
• Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., 10 head
• Ochsner Limousin, Kersey, Colo., 5 head
• Magness Land and Cattle, Platteville, Colo., 9 head
• Linhart Limousin, Leon, Iowa, 10 head
• Mormon Trail Farm, Weldon, Iowa, 5 head
• Wulf Limousin Farms, Morris, Minn., 30 head
• Potterosa Limousin Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn., 5 head
• Bullis Creek Ranch, Wood Lake, Neb., 1 head
• Vaughn Farms, Cavalier, N.D., 10 head
• Rocking S Limousin, McLeod, N.D., 5 head
• Buckhorn Creek Ranch, Sulphur, Okla., 10 head
• Express Ranches, Yukon, Okla., 20 head
• H&T Bies Cattle Co., Fairburn, S.D., 10 head
• Spring Creeks Cattle Co., Wauzeka, Wis., 4 head
• Waddle Limousin Ranch, Pine Bluffs, Wyo., 6 head
NALF created VQ as follow-up to the Limousin Visions Symposium, which it conducted in December 2004. The feeding project's primary purpose is to provide an educational experience about retained ownership and to generate critical performance and carcass data for genetic evaluation and ongoing breed improvement.
For more information about VQ, contact Bo Sexson, NALF co-director of member and commercial relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 220-1693.
The North American Limousin Foundation (www.nalf.org), headquartered
in Centennial, Colo., provides programs and services – including genetic evaluation of 5,000 active sires – to more than 4,000 members and their commercial customers. The Limousin breed and its Lim-Flex® hybrid
lead the beef industry in muscle-growth efficiency and ideally complement British