West Texas A&M University unwrapped the carcass results on some of the progeny of their cloned calves Wednesday—and they had some impressive news to report. Impressive like 100% Yield Grade 2 or better and 86% Choice and 14% prime.
Pretty nice average, that. At the moment Tyson’s grid would have awarded each cwt of those animals $24 for the prime, $8 for the Certified Angus Beef certification, $6.50 for the YG1 and $2.50 for the YG2.
So there’s money in them there clones if you can get it out.
This all started when WT’s Dr. Ty Lawrence took tissue from a couple—one male, one female—carcasses he identified in packing plant. Working with Dr. Gregg Veneklasen at the Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital, they were able to develop a bull clone and a heifer clone. They dubbed the bull Alpha and the heifer Gamma.
They bred them and got the first calves ever born to a mating of two clones—a total of 9 bull calves and 4 heifer calves. They kept two of the bulls, but castrated the other seven and fed them out.
On the rail one steer was Prime, three High Choice and three Average Choice. One was YG1 and the others were all YG2.
John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M system, said that, compared to industry averages, the steers produced 16% less seam fat, 45% more marbling and 9% more ribeye poundage. Lawrence said that they gained just 2.9 lbs a day on feed, but converted at 7.2. That ADG came without any implants.
Next step for WT is to compare the Alpha bull to top AI sires from the Angus, Simmental and Charolais breeds. They’ve exposed 1300 cows and expect for the calves to be treated generically, right through the feedyard.