Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira
On-line version ISSN 1678-3921
RESTLE, JOÃO et al. EARLY WEANING EFFECT ON CARCASS OF STEERS FINISHED ON PASTURE AND SLAUGHTERED AT TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 1999, vol.34, n.11, pp. 2129-2136. ISSN 1678-3921. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X1999001100020.
Carcass characteristics of Charolais x Nellore steers, weaned at two ages: 90 (T90) or 210 days (T210) were evaluated. Sixty-three castrated calves, finished on Avena strigosa + Lolium multiflorum + Trifolium vesiculosum pasture and slaughtered at twenty-four months of age, were used. No significant differences were observed between treatments for final weight (T90=437 kg and T210=467 kg), dressing percentage (T90=53.33% and T210=52.21%), hot carcass weight (T90=233 kg and T210=244 kg) and cold carcass weight (T90=226 kg and T210=238 kg). Carcasses of the two treatments showed similar conformation (T90=10.8 points and T210=11.0 points). Also the forequarter, side and hindquarter percentages were similar between treatments, likewise no significant differences were observed for carcass, leg and arm length, arm perimeter and cushion thickness. Subcutaneous fat thickness did not differ between the two carcass groups (T90=2.56 mm and T210=2.27 mm). Results demonstrate that early weaning at ninety days of age does not affect carcass traits of steers slaughtered at twenty-four months of age, if adequate nutrition is provided during growing and finishing periods.
Keywords : Charolais; conformation; early weaning; subcutaneous fat thickness; Nellore.