Impact of a leptin single nucleotide polymorphism and zilpaterol hydrochloride on growth and carcass characteristics in finishing steers.
Steers (n = 560; initial BW = 420 ± 26 kg) were selected from a pool of 1,040, using the IGENITY Profile DNA test for tenderness, sorted into 1 of 4 tenderness genotype (TG) groups [140 tough (TUF), 140 intermediate (INT), 140 tender (TEND), or 140 mixed (MXD)], and subsequently allocated into 56 pens at random, of which one-half (28 pens, 7 pens from each TG) were supplemented the β-adrenergic agonist zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) and the balance fed a control ration. No TG × ZH interaction (P ≥ 0.15) occurred for any measured trait. Cattle from INT TG had less (P < 0.05) DMI during pretreatment (d 0 to 118) and entire trial (d 0 to 143) periods than other TG. Cattle fed ZH had greater (P < 0.01) ADG and G:F, and decreased (P < 0.01) DMI during the treatment period (d 119 to 143). Cattle from the TEND group had greater (P < 0.01) marbling scores, increased (P < 0.02) calculated USDA yield grades (YG), and more (P < 0.02) calculated empty body fat (EBF) than TUF cattle. Cattle receiving ZH during the treatment period had increased (P < 0.01) HCW, dressed yield, and LM area. Additionally, cattle fed ZH exhibited decreased (P < 0.01) EBF, marbling, KPH, and calculated USDA YG. No difference (P > 0.06) in YG distributions were detected among TG, yet TEND cattle were represented by a greater (P < 0.01) proportion of Prime and premium Choice carcasses. Cattle fed ZH exhibited increased (P < 0.01) frequencies of YG 2 carcasses and fewer (P < 0.01) YG 3, 4, and 5 carcasses concurrent with an increase (P < 0.04) in the percentage of Select carcasses. Longissimus steaks from TUF cattle had greater (P < 0.03) Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) values at 7 and 14 d postmortem than steaks from INT or TEND cattle. Furthermore, ZH-fed cattle had increased (P < 0.01) WBSF values for all aging periods compared with control cattle. Frequency of steaks with WBSF values <3.9 kg (certified tender) were less (P < 0.05) for the TUF group. Feeding ZH resulted in fewer longissimus steaks (P < 0.01) with WBSF values <3.0 kg (guaranteed tender) across all aging periods; however, no difference in the frequency of steaks with WBSF values <3.9 kg was found after 21 d of aging. Igenity Profile tenderness scores were correlated (P < 0.05) to carcass finish attributes and WBSF values. Commercially available tenderness panels may have the potential to allow for antemortem sorting of cattle into expected tenderness groupings, which could augment feeding management strategies and ultimately lead to increased marketing value for the beef system.