Fourteen Friesian and 13 Angus steers, grown at pasture, were selected so that their carcass weights fell evenly throughout the range 200–300 kg. The right half of each carcass was dissected into muscle, fat, bone and fascia and tendon, and the left half boned-out and fat trimmed into retail cuts. A step-wise multiple regression procedure, including a pseudovariable for breeds, was used to compare compositional components on a common weight basis.
Angus, at the lower end of the live-weight range, had heavier empty bodies than Friesians; at the heavier end of the live-weight range, this was reversed. This relationship between live weight and empty body weight was due to variation between breeds in the weight of contents in the fore stomachs but not the intestines.
When compared at either the same live weight or the same empty body weight, Angus had more hot carcass than the Friesians (8·0 and 8·4 kg, respectively). There was no difference between breeds in loss of carcass weight in the 24 h post-slaughter.
There was no breed difference in weight of blood, head, kidney and channel fat, kidneys, liver, diaphragm, heart, lungs, tail or fore-stomachs, when compared at the same offal weight. The feet and intestines were, respectively, 0·55 and 2·43 kg heavier for Friesians than for Angus at the same offal weight, but the pizzle was 0·11 kg lighter. Hide weight was greater in the Angus at all offal weights, with the difference between breeds being 0·016% of (offal weight).
There was no difference between breeds in the weight of muscle or the weight of fascia and tendon when compared at the same dissected side weight; however, the Angus had 4·8 kg more fat and 3·0 kg less bone than the Friesians at the same dissected side weight.
When compared at the same muscle weight the Friesians had 1·04 kg more proximal hind-limb muscles, 0·30 kg more proximal fore limb muscles, but 0·74 kg less abdominal muscles than the Angus. At all dissected muscle weights the Angus had a greater weight of muscles of the neck and thorax, and this difference increased with increasing weight of dissected muscle. The Friesians also had 1·52% more of their muscle as ‘expensive muscle’. There were no breed differences in the distribution of any other muscle groups.
There was no breed difference in the distribution of dissected fat between subcutaneous and intermuscular depots when these were the only fat depots considered. However, when kidney and channel fat was included in the total dissectable fat of the carcass, Friesians had 22·4 % more kidney and channel fat, the same weight of intermuscular fat and less subcutaneous fat than the Angus at the same total dissected fat weight.
Friesians tended to have more of their bone weight in their legs (humerus, femur, tibiar–tarsus, radius–ulnar–carpus) and Angus more in their thoracic region (thoracic vertebrae and ribs, scapular and sternum-costal cartilages).
At the same retail side weights there was no difference between breeds in the weight of fat-trimmed, boned-out, retail cuts; however, the Friesians had 3·3 kg more retail bone than Angus, but 2·3 kg less fat trim and 0·46 kg less sausage mince.
There was no difference between breeds in the distribution of retail bone or of fattrimmed, boned-out cuts between the forequarter and hindquarter. However, the Friesians had 13·2 % more fat trim in the hindquarter. Friesians had 0·27 kg more retail cuts located in the rump but 0·80 kg less in the loin, when compared at the same weight of retail cuts. Also, the Friesians had more of their retail cuts as topside, thick flank and foreshin. There were no other differences between breeds in the distribution of retail cuts.