Performance and body composition of young Nellore bulls slaughtered at different body weights
Semina: Ciências Agrárias
The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of slaughter body weight on the quantitative characteristics of carcasses and the yield of commercial cuts of young Nellore bulls. Twenty-four non-castrated, 11-month-old, feedlot-fed Nellore bulls were distributed in a completely randomized design, in three treatments: 350 kg, 400 kg or 450 kg of body weight at slaughter (SBW). Slaughter was performed in a commercial slaughterhouse. The data were analyzed by an ANOVA followed by a Tukey
... (p ? 0.05). SBW had no relationship with dry matter intake (6.05 kg/day or 75.74 g/kg BW0.75), feed efficiency (22.16) or feed conversion (4.67). Average daily gain was different depending on the SBW. Animal slaughtered at 350 kg had gained 1.17 kg/day, whereas animals slaughtered at 400 and 450 kg had gained 1.49 and 1.47 kg/day, respectively. Cold carcass weight increased with SBW (189.50, 209.33, and 242.39, respectively). Other carcass characteristics, like pH at 48 h (5.75), cold dressing carcass (52.61%), chilling losses (1.79%), fat thickness (5.54 mm), marbling (3.34 points), intramuscular fat (6.68%), longissimus muscle area (63.10 cm2) and sarcomere length (1.60 ?m), were not affected by SBW, but SBW increased cold carcass weight. The treatments had effects on the primary and commercial cut weights. However, the cut yields for the forequarter (39.84%), hindquarter (47.82%) and side-cut (12.34%), and the secondary cuts: chuck (14.38%), hump steak (1.94%), shoulder clod (16.97%), brisket point end (5.56%), neck steak (1.00%), striploin (7.77%), outside flat (5.30%), topside (9.36%), tenderloin (2.16%), flank steak (3.41%), eyeround (2.67%), rump tail (1.20%), rump eye (3.89%), shank (4.44%), knuckle (5.25%) and rump cap (1.40%), were not affected by SBW. SBW did not influence (p > 0.05) the commercial cut compositions for all cuts in the forequarter and hindquarter. Finishing young bulls in a feedlot is a strategy to produce beef with reduced feed costs. After all, the slaughter body weight (350, 400 or 450 kg) influenced the quantitative characteristics of the carcass; however, it did not affect the yield of commercial cuts from young Nellore bulls.