Effects of post-pubertal castration and diet on growth rate and meat quality of bulls
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 56, pp 390-393, Jan 1996
Article class: Conference Presentation
Subject Terms: Animal production/wastage, Animal welfare, Bodyweight/liveweight/condition score, Diet/rations/food, Fat/lipids, Growth/development, Husbandry/husbandry procedures, Meat, Nutrition/metabolism, Puberty, Quality/assurance, Reproduction, Reproduction - male, SurgeryNew Zealand Society of Animal Production
AbstractBy castrating bulls post-puberty and then finishing before slaughter it may be possible to obtain both the higher growth rate of bulls but the meat quality of steers. Of 50 crossbred bulls, 20 were castrated at 10 months-of age (steers) and 20 castrated at 17 months-of age (castrates). One month after the latter castration, all animals commenced a 100 day finishing period and were slaughtered at the end. Ten steers and 10 castrates were fed a diet of 50% barley : 50% silage while the rest grazed brassica crop and pasture. Bulls were 20 kg heavier than steers at post-pubertal castration (388 ± 2 vs 365 ± 3 kg, P<0.001) but at slaughter castrates and steers were similar in liveweight and carcass weight, but lighter (P<0.001) than bulls. During finishing, castrates retained the high eye muscle area, but lost the pronounced neck muculature of bulls and were intermediate between bulls and steers in fat depth. Feedlot cattle had whiter fat and lower fat carotenoid concentrations than cattle on pasture. Results indicate that post-pubertal castration of bulls could produce meat with steer characteristics if the interval from castration to slaughter was long enough, but it may be difficult to retain the growth rate and liveweight advantage of bulls after castration.
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