Influence of Angus and Belgian Blue bulls mated to Hereford x Brahman cows on growth, carcass traits, and longissimus steak shear force

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Steers and heifers were generated from Angus (A) and Belgian Blue (BB) sires mated to Brahman × Hereford (B × H) F 1 cows to characterize their growth, carcass traits, and LM shear force. A total of 120 B × H cows purchased from 2 herds and 35 bulls (14 A and 21 BB) produced calves during the 5-yr project. After the stocker phase, a representative sample of A- and BB-sired heifers and steers were transported to the Iberia Research Station to be fed a high-concentrate diet. The remaining cattle were transported to a commercial feedlot facility. Each pen of cattle from the commercial feedlot was slaughtered when it was estimated that heifers and steers had 10 mm of fat or greater. The BB-sired calves were heavier at birth (P < 0.01) than the A-sired calves. During the feedlot phase, the A-sired calves gained more BW (P < 0.05) than the BB-sired calves. The BB-sired calves had heavier (P < 0.01) carcass weights than the A-sired calves. This was due to a combination of a heavier final BW and greater dressing percent. Because of their greater muscling and reduced (P < 0.01) fat, carcasses from BB-sired calves had greater yield (P < 0.01) compared with carcasses from A-sired calves. Carcasses from A-sired calves had a greater (P < 0.01) marbling score and greater (P < 0.01) USDA quality grade than carcasses from BB-sired calves. Tenderness, as measured by shear force of the steaks aged for 7 d, was similar for A- and BB-sired calves. However, steaks aged for 14 d from the A-sired calves had a reduced shear force (P < 0.01) compared with steaks from the BB-sired calves. Steer calves were heavier (P < 0.01) at birth and weaning, and had more total BW gain in the feedlot, which resulted in a heavier final BW and HCW compared with the heifers. Steer carcasses also had greater marbling scores and quality grades, whereas the heifer carcasses had larger LM area per 100 kg of carcass weight. In conclusion, the BB-sired calves had heavier carcass weights and greater cut ability, whereas the A-sired calves had a greater degree of marbling and greater quality grade, and steaks from carcasses of A-sired calves were more tender as measured by shear force at 14 d. © 2009 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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