Live Weight

Nitrogen is determined as protein content divided by 6.25. Sulfur is determined as nitrogen divided by 15. As animals grow, water content decreases while fat content increases. Protein initially increases due to decreasing water and then decreases due to increasing fat. On a dry, fat-free basis, protein comprises 80 percent of most animals’ empty (not including gut contents) body weight. The change in protein as cattle and pigs age is shown in Figure D-1. The curve for swine was developed from the data published by Mahan and Shields (1998). The curve for cattle was derived by integrating the change in total body protein (protein accretion) and body weight gain predicted by the National Research Council (NRC, 2000) and dividing the former values by the latter. Ferrell and Jenkins (1998) reported protein percentage of live weight for a variety of breeds of beef cattle fed differently to 80 percent of mature weight to range from 12.4 to 13.8 percent. Hutcheson et al. (1997) reported protein percentage of finished Brangus steers to range from 12.6 to 13.1 percent of live weight. For mature cattle, a

FIGURE D-1 Change in body protein percentage as cattle mature.

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