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Productivity, carcass and meat quality of lot-fed Bos indicus cross steers grouped according to temperament

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Petherick, J.C., Holroyd, R.G., Doogan, V.J. and Venus, B.K. (2002) Productivity, carcass and meat quality of lot-fed Bos indicus cross steers grouped according to temperament. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 42 (4). pp. 389-398.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EA01084

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au


One hundred and twenty Bos indicus cross steers were allocated to 3 treatments (good, mixed and poor) on the basis of flight speed, as a measure of cattle temperament. The cattle were lot-fed for 100 days and data collected at intervals on their temperament (flight speeds) and productivity (liveweight changes, body condition, pen feed intakes) during this time. After slaughter, data were collected on carcass traits and meat quality. Eating-quality attributes were measured in meat samples from 22 carcasses from each treatment.

Flight speeds were highly correlated across animals and within treatments, showed little change in variability over time and were highly repeatable. Flight speed indicated a slight deterioration in temperament with time in the feedlot until day 70, suggesting an increasing fearfulness in the steers. Differences in flight speeds between treatments were maintained throughout the feedlotting period; poor-temperament animals retained poor temperaments and good retained good.

Flight speed was correlated with measures of production, and flight speed measured at feedlot induction was a predictor of performance. Correlations and treatment effects showed that cattle with poor temperaments had poorer average daily gains, feed conversion efficiencies, body conditions and dressing percentages compared with those with good temperaments. Reduced performance in the poor-temperament animals may have resulted from their fearfulness and state of high arousal.

Treatment (temperament grouping) did not influence carcass traits, but there was evidence of lower initial pH levels and indicators of 'heat-shortening' in the meat of steers with poor temperament compared with those with good temperament. These findings suggest that the poor temperament steers were more susceptible to pre-slaughter stressors than the good temperament animals. However, the meat quality differences were not detected in eating-quality measurements.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Animal behaviour; Body condition; Carcass quality; Carcasses; Dressing percentage; Fattening performance; Feed conversion efficiency; Feedlots; Liveweight gain; Meat; Meat quality; Steers; Stress; Stress response; Temperament.
Subjects:Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:07 May 2004
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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