Body condition and carcass characteristics for culling cows in the region of Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Lima, I. de A.; Rezende, C.A.P. de; Paiva, P.C. de A.; Andrade, I.F. de; Muniz, J.A.

Ciencia e Agrotecnologia 28(3): 637-646


ISSN/ISBN: 1413-7054
Accession: 004059292

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A number of research works have shown the inferiority of the carcass and meat of culled cows which are slaughtered due to old age and/or with unsuitable finishing. This work aimed to establish the most frequent body condition of the cows and evaluate the relationship existing between body condition and carcass yield and the yield of some cuts of the rear of the cows. The survey was conducted in the slaughterhouse of Lavra, Minas Gerais, Brazil and was divided into two phases, thus: phase I (1 to 31 March 2001) determined that 53.41% of the total animals slaughtered in the period were females and that the frequent body condition scores (BCS) were 3, 4, and 5; and phase II (15 April too 15 July 2001) utilized 140 cows with 42, 59 and 39 cows had BCS of 3, 4 and 5, respectively. In each score, the cows were ranked into three genetic groups: zebu cross, Holstein cross, and crossbred. Before slaughter, the cows were weighed, classified the body condition and genetic group, and photographed for further classification by other referees. The evaluated parameters were: HCY, kidneys and pelvic fat weight LEA, PFT and weight of cuts (strip loin, whole rump and tender loin). The BCS influenced the HCW, PFT kidney and pelvic weight and the weight of the whole rump in the three genetic groups. For LEA and weight of tender loin, only the effect of BCS on the zebu crossed cows were found, strip loin weight was not affected by the BCS. The zebu crossed cows presented a greater HCY and PFT but the largest LEA was observed in the Holstein cows. The kidney and pelvic fat and the weights of the cuts (strip loin, rump and tender loin) did not range among the genetic groups. It is concluded that the cows slaughtered in the period presented poor body condition and that this influenced the carcass yield characteristics.