Whole field peas were fed at 0, 10, 20, and 30% of DM to 139 yearling steers (British cross; 409 ± 31 kg of initial BW) for a 119-d finishing period. Carcass data and Choice grade strip loins (n = 98) were collected from a commercial abattoir in Lexington, Nebraska. Consumer sensory and Warner-Bratzler shear force analyses were performed on 2.5-cm strip steaks. No differences (P ≥ 0.17) were observed in final BW, ADG, DMI, and G:F of steers. Likewise, no differences (P ≥ 0.23) were observed for HCW, LM area, fat thickness at the 12th rib, yield grade, and marbling scores. However, KPH responded quadratically to increasing dietary amount of field peas (P = 0.02). Regarding the sensorial analysis, feeding peas linearly increased subjective tenderness (P < 0.01) and led to a quadratic response of overall like ratings (P = 0.01) and flavor like ratings (P = 0.12). Feeding peas did not alter (P ≥ 0.64) juiciness, but decreased shear force values linearly when quantities were increased (P = 0.02). These data suggest that feeding peas does not affect steer performance or carcass characteristics differently from dry-rolled corn, but does improve objective and subjective tenderness, overall desirability, and flavor of beef. Field peas could be fed to cattle and give positive attributes to the quality of the meat up to 30% inclusion in the diet.

Jenkins, K. H.; Vasconcelos, J. T.; Hinkle J. B. ; Furman, S. A.; de Mello, A. S.; Senaratne, L. S.; Pokharel, S.; Calkins, C. R. 2011, Evaluation of performance, carcass characteristics & sensory attributes of beef from finishing steers fed field peas., Journal of Animal Science 89: 1167-1172

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