Dutch Friesian purebred and Holstein Friesian-Dutch Friesian crossbred veal calves were used to study effects of genotype and feeding level on carcass composition. Carcass analyses were carried out on a total of 56 calves of two genotypes. Calves were reared for 22 weeks and given food dependent on age. From 1 to 16 weeks calves were given the same amount of milk replacer. At week 16, calves were assigned to either a high or low feeding level. Total energy intakes for the two groups were 5062 MJ metabolizable energy (ME) and 5408 MJ ME, respectively. Carcass weight and carcass composition traits showed no significant interaction between genotype and feeding level. Dutch Friesians had higher lean: bone ratios than Holstein Friesian crossbreds (3·85 v. 3·67). Differences between the two genotypes for fat and lean proportions in the carcass were not significant. Average proportions for lean and fat were 653 and 134 g/kg.
Differences between the two feeding levels for carcass composition were significant. Calves on the low feeding level had 655 g lean and 131 g fat per kg, while calves on the high level had 645 g lean and 143 g fat per kg.
The influence of the dissection technique on the differences in lean and muscle proportion between groups was studied on 18 carcasses using a standardized butcher's method (the Institute of Animal Husbandry (IVO) standard method) and the European Economic Community (EEC) reference method for beef. Average proportion of lean was 640 g/kg by the IVO method and of muscle was 557 g/kg by the EEC method. The difference between the two genotypes for lean proportion was smaller by the' EEC method due to the more complete separation between muscle and fatty tissue. Dutch Friesians had more intermuscular fat than Holstein Friesian crossbreds. Results of the EEC reference method indicate differences between the two feeding levels for fat as well as for protein deposition.