The profitability, growth and meat quality of grain finished entire male and castrated Bos indicus cattle from a north Australian production system

Wainewright, Steven (2012) The profitability, growth and meat quality of grain finished entire male and castrated Bos indicus cattle from a north Australian production system. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

The profitability, growth, carcass and meat quality from high grade; grain fed Bos indicus entire male and castrated cattle that were either positively or negatively homozygous or heterozygous for the calpastatin gene from a vertically integrated north Australian production system were investigated. Preliminary analysis into the profitability of producing entire vs. castrated male cattle for the domestic market using Breedcow herd budgeting software was undertaken based on a hypothetical breeding herd of 1200 cows. Although entire males had higher gross margins compared to castrates during the finishing phase, they were unable to make up the earlier losses of $24.04/AE at weaning. There were no differences in performance between entire males and castrates prior to the onset of puberty in the on-farm experiment. Following the onset of puberty and combined with an energy dense finishing ration, entire males grew 27% faster than castrates. There were no differences in temperament between the castrates and entire males (P > 0.05). Entire males produced carcasses that were heavier (P = 0.005), had less marbling (P = 0.001) and were more mature (P = 0.007) compared to carcasses from castrates. Both entire males and castrates that were negatively homozygous or heterozygous produced carcasses that were heavier than carcasses from animals that were positively homozygous for the calpastatin gene (P < 0.05). All but one entire male carcass qualified as gain fed yearling beef (GFYG) under the Ausmeat selection criteria and consequently were awarded a similar price per kg compared to castrates. The price combined with the heavier carcass weights resulted in entire males being $50 more profitable per carcass compared to castrates. Entire males produced tougher samples of the M. Longissimus dorsi after aging for 14 days (P = 0.001) and 28 days (P = 0.005) compared to castrates. Selecting animals that were either positively or negatively homozygous or heterozygous for the calpastatin gene didn't affect M. Longissimus dorsi meat tenderness. In conclusion entire male cattle can be managed and produced for the domestic trade, profitably, in accordance with Ausmeat selection criteria. In addition, meat tenderness in Bos indicus castrated or entire male cattle was unable to be improved by selecting against the calpastatin gene.

Item ID: 23758
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: beef; Bos indicus; brahman; brahmin; bulls; calpastatin gene; castrated male cattle; cows; grain fed; growth rate; growth; humped cattle; livestock; meat quality; meat tenderness; North Australian beef industry; Northern Australia; profitability; zebu
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Publications arising from this thesis are available from the Related URLs field. The publications are:

Wainewright, S.A., Parker, A.J., Holmes, W.E., Zerby, H., and Fitzpatrick, L.A. (2011) An economic case study of entire male grain-fed beef from a north-western Queensland production system. Animal Production Science, 51 (6). pp. 570-574.

Wainewright, S.A., Parker, A.J., Zerby, H., and Fitzpatrick, L.A. (2011) Carcass characteristics and profitability of young grain-fed Bos indicus entire male cattle. Proceedings of the Northern Beef Research Update Conference. Northern Beef Research Update Conference , 2-5 August 2011, Darwin, NT, Australia , p. 110.

Funders: Meat and Livestock Australia; James Cook University
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2013 04:56
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070202 Animal Growth and Development @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 100%
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