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Effect of forage availability on carcass traits of calves slaughtered at weaning



Effect of forage availability on carcass traits of calves slaughtered at weaning



Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Progress Report (3758-3830): 154-158



Fall-born (24) calves were slaughtered when weaned at an average age of 259 days. Preweaning treatments consisted of grazing a Bermuda grass-ryegrass-arrowleaf clover sward at 3 levels of forage availability (FA). Cow and calf average daily gains (ADG) from the low, medium and high FA paddocks were -0.25 and 0.67; -0.02 and 0.76; and 0.47 and 0.97 kg, respectively. The low, medium and high FA paddocks supported stocking rates of 6.27, 4.52 and 2.72 cow-calf units/ha, and calf weaning weights of 236, 251 and 289 kg, respectively. Carcasses from calves in high FA paddocks were fatter (5.08 mm vs. 1.27 mm over the longissimus muscle) (P < 0.05) and also had more than 18% larger (P < 0.05) longissimus muscle areas than carcasses from the low FA paddocks. Marbling scores and quality grades of carcasses from calves in high FA paddocks were 33% and 27% higher (P < 0.05), respectively, than those of calves in low FA paddocks. There were few significant differences in palatability-related traits of loin steaks from carcasses of calves on the 3 levels of FA. Except for juiciness, steaks from 22 grain-fed steers generally had higher (P < 0.05) taste panel scores and lower shear force values than did steaks from carcass of any of the 3 FA groups of calves. Steer carcasses had higher (P < 0.05) ADG, weaning weight and longissimus muscle areas than did heifers; heifers had greater (P < 0.05) fat thickness over the longissimus muscle, more kidney, pelvic and heart (KPH) fat and a higher yield grade number (lower cutability) than did steers. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in other carcass characteristics nor in any of the palatability-related traits of loin steaks between steers and heifers.

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Accession: 005239930

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