Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Effects of adding poultry fat in the finishing diet of steers on performance, carcass characteristics, sensory traits, and fatty acid profiles


Troy J. Wistuba

Document Type


Publication Date



Use of poultry fat in the finishing diets of steers has not been studied as a potential source of added energy. Therefore, 60 Angus crossbred steers were fed 1 of 3 dietary treatments consisting of 1) a corn-soybean meal control diet devoid of added fat; 2) the control diet formulated with 4% tallow; or 3) the control diet formulated with 4% poultry fat. Addition of fat did not (P = 0.17) affect ADG for the 112-d study. The inclusion of tallow in the diet reduced (P < 0.05) ADFI of steers compared with those on the control diet; however, ADFI of steers fed poultry fat did not differ from those fed the control (P = 0.06) or the tallow (P = 0.36) diets. At d 55, steers consuming either fat source had improved (P < 0.05) G:F compared with steers fed the control diet. For the entire 112 d, steers consuming the poultry fat diet gained more efficiently (P < 0.05) than the control steers, and the tallow-fed steers were intermediate and not different from the other groups (P ≥ 0.14). The inclusion of fat in the diet did not (P ≥ 0.15) affect carcass characteristics. Steaks from the steers consuming diets with added fat were darker (lower L* value; P < 0.05) than the controls; however, dietary treatments did not (P ≥ 0.10) affect any other objective color measurements or discoloration scores during retail display. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances for LM steaks did not differ (P = 0.21) by dietary treatment. The cooked LM steaks from steers fed poultry fat did not (P ≥ 0.80) differ in juiciness or flavor intensity from steaks of steers fed the control or tallow diets. There were also no differences (P = 0.18) in off flavors as a result of added dietary fat. In the LM and adipose tissue, percentages of total SFA were increased (P = 0.05) by adding supplemental fat to the diet, regardless of source. In the LM, total MUFA were decreased (P = 0.02) by adding supplemental fat. Conversely, diet did not (P ≥ 0.14) affect the proportions of total PUFA in either tissue or total MUFA in the adipose tissue. Results indicated that replacing beef tallow in finishing diets with poultry fat, a more economical energy source, had no detrimental effects on growth performance, carcass characteristics, retail display life, fatty acid profiles, or palatability.