Producer- and Packer-Related Problems

Objectives:

(1) To relate the economic loss of parasite infestations in livestock.

(2) To show the impact of mishandling livestock on quality and quantity losses of their carcasses.

(3) To demonstrate antemortem procedures to correct losses that occur in livestock related to the producer or packer.

National Beef Quality Audit

Improvements in quality cannot be made if a benchmark is not available to see where and what the problems are and where the efforts on quality improvements can be made. There have been five such surveys conducted (NBQA-1991, NBQA-1995, NBQA-2000, NBQA-2005, NBQA-2011, and they have had a major impact on our understanding of changes needed in the beef industry.

Top ten quality challenges for the fed-beef industry, NBQA-2000
Ranking Quality Challenge
1 Low overall uniformity and consistency of cattle, carcasses, and cuts
2 Inappropriate carcass size and weight
3 Inadequate tenderness of beef
4 Insufficient marbling
5 Reduced Quality Grade/tenderness due to growth promoting implants
6 Excess external fat cover
7 Inappropriate USDA Quality Grade mix
8 Too much hide damage due to brands
9 Too frequent and severe bruises
10 Too frequent liver condemnations
Source: National Beef Quality Audit — 2000

NBQA comparisons for USDA grade traits

Trait

NBQA–2011

NBQA–2005

NBQA–2000

NBQA-1995

NBQA-1991

USDA Yield Grade

2.9

2.9

3.0

2.8

3.2

USDA Quality Grade

Select 93

Select 90

Select 85

Select 79

Select 86

Adjusted fat thickness, in

0.51

0.51

0.49

0.47

0.59

Ribeye area, in2

13.8

13.4

13.1

12.8

12.9

KPH, %

2.3

2.3

2.3

2.0

2.2

Carcass weight, pounds

825

794

787

748

759

Marbling score

Small 40

Small 32

Small 23

Small 06

Small 24

Maturity

A 59

A 64

A 66

A 60

A 69

Source:  National Beef Quality Audit–2011.

Yield grade and quality grade characteristics of steer and heifer carcasses

Trait

Steer

Heifer

USDA Yield Grade

3.0

2.9

Adjusted fat thickness, in.

0.48

0.56

Carcass weight, pounds

853.9

776.4

KPH, %

2.2

2.4

Ribeye area, in2

13.8

13.6

     
USDA Quality Grade

Select 90

Select 91

Overall Maturity

A56

A63

Marbling score

Small 36

Small 48

Source: National Beef Quality Audit – 2011

Improving the quality, consistency, competitiveness and marketshare of fed-beef

 Goal  Cost
Increase Red Meat Yield

 $50.96
Enhance Taste and Tenderness

 $24.45
Improve Management

 $18.23
Control Weight

 $6.46
Total
 $100.10
Source: National Beef Quality Audit — 2000

Producer-related problems:

(1) Tapeworm cysts–larvae of tapeworm

Beef “measles” — cysticercus bovis

Lamb “measles” — cysticercus ovis

Pork “measles” — cysticercus cellulosae

The condition is referred to as cysticercosis

Cost — beef head ($20), beef carcass ($800)

Cause — pasture management, dog or human feces

(2) Roundworm damage in pork livers

Ascarids Ascaris lumbricoides

Cost — pork liver ($2)

Cause — unsanitary housing conditions, fecal contamination 

(3) Roundworm damage in sheep intestines

Nodular disease Oesophagostomum columbianum

Cost — sheep intestines for sausage casings ($1)

Cause — failure to “worm” sheep, unclean housing

(4) Grub damage in beef carcasses

Grubs — larvae of the heel fly (ox warble)

Hypoderma lineatum

Hypoderma bovis

Cost — hide damage and carcass trimming ($10)

Cause — failure to “grub” cattle

(5) Liver abscesses in beef

Causative organism Corynebacterium pyogenes & Sperophorus necrophorus

Cost — beef liver ($5)

Cause — failure to prevent persistent rumenitis; prevented by feeding 15-20% roughage and antibiotics

(6) Flukes

Fasciola hepatica

 White snail is alternative host in grass. Heaviest infestation is Texas Gulf Coast (inland 50 miles)

 Cause — failure to drench cattle 

(7) Hide damage due to branding, mud/urine/insects

Hides are scarred due to hot-iron branding, mud and urine, and biting/sucking insects. Decreases quality of hides for luxury items such as automobile interiors and fine furniture.

 Solution: Move brands to “butt” region; provide for cleaner pens; treat with insecticides.

(8) Injection-site lesions

Caused by giving injections into top butt region of animal.

Incidence rate was 22% in mid- to late-1980’s; now about 10%.

 Solution: Massive educational program led by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to inform producers about consequences of top butt injections. Now use “tent” method for administering vaccinations.

(9) Bruises 

Location Cattle Sheep
Hogs
Most common

35% hip

40% leg

48% ham
Second most common

19% shoulder

35% back

26% back

Cost


$21

$2

$5

Cause


Crowding

Lifting by wool

Kicking

<————–Hitting with wooden objects——————->

(10) Calloused muscle

Muscle is injured, which causes it to atrophy.  Condition called muscle steatosis, which occurs in fat infiltrating the area and caused calloused muscle.

Packer-related problems:

(1) Heat prostration in swine

Cause: Swine have very inefficient processes for body heat transfer

Solution: Sprinklers in holding pens

(2) Suffocation in sheep

Cause: Sheep are easily frightened, very gregarious, will pile up and smother

Solution: Don’t pen in small places

(3) Fiery fat, splotched muscle in beef

Cause: Short-term violent excitement ruptures capillaries in fat and muscle

Solution: Hold 1-2 days prior to slaughter

 bloodsplash

Review of Material — What the student should know:


(1) An understanding of what parasites or other conditions can do to the value of livestock.

(2) That mishandling by man can cause significant losses in livestock and their meat.

(3) That simple animal husbandry practices can help prevent many product and economic losses.


Links to related sites on the Internet

 

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