A Comparison of Growth and Carcass Characteristics between Holstein-Friesian Steers and Simmental Holstein (F 1 ) Crossbreds

Forrest, R.J.

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 60(3): 591-598


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-3984
DOI: 10.4141/cjas80-069
Accession: 068493155

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The carcass characteristics of 42 purebred Holstein-Friesian (Hol) steers were compared with 64 (37 steers and 27 heifers) Simmental (Sim) × Hol, F1 crossbreds. These offspring were the product of three Holstein and three imported Simmental sires. A portion of the calves (20 Holstein; 18 crossbred steers and 13 heifers) were individually fed to provide growth and feed consumption data. There were no significant differences in either rate of gain or feed efficiency between the purebred and crossbred steers at any growth stage between 200 and 500 kg body weight. The heifers were significantly (P < 0.05) less efficient between 300 and 500 kg and grew more slowly (1.09 compared to 1.62 kg/day) between 400 and 500 kg than the steers. Carcass characteristics were taken after slaughter at constant weight (500 kg). The Holsteins dressed lower (56.3%) than the crossbreds (57.4%). The Holsteins had less hide (33.4 kg) than either the crossbred heifers (37.9 kg) or steers (40.4 kg). However, the Holsteins had heavier livers (6.73 kg) and kidneys (1.11 kg) than the crossbred steers (6.16 and 1.01 kg) which in turn had significantly heavier livers and kidneys than the crossbred heifers (5.71 and 0.87 kg). The crossbred heifers had the greatest amount of offal fat, 33.5 kg, the crossbred steers the least, 19.8 kg, whereas the Holsteins were intermediate with 25.0 kg. The Holsteins were longer in the body, deeper in the chest, and thinner at the shoulder and round than the crossbred groups. The two steer groups were similar in carcass proportions, whereas the heifers were lighter in the chuck and shank areas and heavier in the back and belly regions. The crossbred heifers had the lightest (503 g) but most dense metatarsal bones (SG = 1.594) while the Holsteins had the longest (26.3 cm) and the crossbred steers the least dense (SG = 1.533) metatarsal bones. In carcass composition, the crossbred heifers had the most fat, 20.7%, whereas the steers of both breeds averaged 15.8%. The Holstein had the most bone (13.4%) and the heifers the least (12.1%) while the crossbred steers were intermediate (12.8%). With respect to lean, the heifers had the least (67.2%) while the crossbred steers had the most 71.8%) and the Holsteins were intermediate (70.4%).