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Effects of castration age, dietary protein level and lysine/methionine ratio on animal performance, carcass and meat quality of Friesian steers intensively reared

  • I. N. Prado (a1) (a2), M. M. Campo (a1), E. Muela (a1), M. V. Valero (a1) (a2), O. Catalan (a3), J. L. Olleta (a1) and C. Sañudo (a1)...


The effects of castration age, dietary protein level and the dietary lysine/methionine (lys/met) ratio on animal performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality were studied in 64 intensively reared Friesian steers. Animals underwent castration procedures at 15 days old or at 5 months old. Dietary treatments started at 90 days old, with eight animals from each castration age randomly allocated to each treatment: 14.6% v. 16.8% CP (DM basis), and 3.0 v. 3.4 lys/met, on a 2×2×2 design. The recommended ratio of 3.0 was reached with supplementation of protected methionine. Steers were slaughtered at 443.5±26.2 kg live weight when they reached 12 months old approximately. Average daily gain, cold carcass weight or carcass classification were not affected by any studied effect. Muscle moisture (P=0.024), C18:2n-6 percentage (P=0.047), polyunsaturated fatty acid/saturated fatty acid (P=0.049) and n-6/n-3 (P=0.003) were higher in late castrated animals. Both high levels of dietary protein (P=0.008) and lys/met ratio (P=0.048) increased the percentage of muscle in the carcass. A level of 16.8% of CP in the diet also increased the percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids in the intramuscular fat (P=0.032), whereas a ratio lys/met of 3.4 decreased the percentage of saturated fatty acids (P=0.028). Thus, it is recommended using diets with a high protein level (16.8%) and a high lys/met ratio (3.4) in animals slaughtered at a young age, in order to obtain carcasses with high muscle content without negatively affecting productive traits or intramuscular fat composition.


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Effects of castration age, dietary protein level and lysine/methionine ratio on animal performance, carcass and meat quality of Friesian steers intensively reared

  • I. N. Prado (a1) (a2), M. M. Campo (a1), E. Muela (a1), M. V. Valero (a1) (a2), O. Catalan (a3), J. L. Olleta (a1) and C. Sañudo (a1)...


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