Effects of surgical castration, immunocastration and homeopathy on the performance, carcass characteristics and behaviour of feedlot-finished crossbred bulls
de Freitas, V.M.; Leao, K.M.; de Araujo Neto, F.R.; Marques, T.C.; Ferreira, R.M.; Franco Garcia, L.L.; de Oliveira, E.B.
Semina-Ciencias Agrarias 36(3): 1725-1734
ISSN/ISBN: 1676-546X DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359.2015v36n3p1725
The aim of this study was to evaluate total weight gain, carcass yield, rib-eye area, marbling, subcutaneous fat thickness, frequencies of mounting, excitement, dominance behaviour and serum testosterone concentration in feedlot-finished non-castrated bulls, surgically castrated bulls, immunocastrated bulls and bulls treated with homeopathy. The study involved 52 calves, Holstein-Zebu, 20 +/- 3 months old, in a completely randomised design divided into four treatments of 13 animals: non-castrated, surgically castrated, immunocastrated and non-castrated with homeopathy. Analysis of variance was performed, and the Tukey test was applied (P<0.05). The Pearson correlation coefficient was estimated and principal components analysis was performed. The castrated animals had lower total weight gain and carcass yield than the animals in the remaining treatment groups. The immunocastrated bulls had a greater subcutaneous fat thickness than the non-castrated bulls. The castrated bulls exhibited lower frequencies of mounting, excitement and dominance behaviour than the animals in the remaining treatment groups. Testosterone levels were lower in the castrated animals. Principal components analysis revealed a moderate magnitude and sharpness in the differentiation of the castrated animals. It was concluded that the immunocastrated animals were similar in performance to the non-castrated animals, while the carcass finish characteristics of the immunocastrated animals were similar to the castrated animals. The castrated animals had lower productive performance than the animals in the remaining treatment groups. The homeopathy animals had performance and carcass finish characteristics similar to the non-castrated animals. Homeopathy and immunocastration did not reduce sodomy and dominance behaviours.