Data from 44 bulls of the genetic groups Selection Nellore (NeS), Control Nellore (NeC) and Caracu (Ca) herds born in 1999 were used to evaluate the effects of selection for post weaning weight on carcass traits and meat cuts yields at 378 days of age (P 378). The animals were randomly distributed into two experimental classes: restricted feeding (AR) and ad libitum feeding (AL) including 8 animals from the NeS and Ca groups and 6 animals from the NeC group. Animals of each class were slaughtered in pairs when the animals AL group reached 4 mm of ultrasonic fat thickness on Longissimus dorsi muscle, between the 12th and 13th ribs. The interaction between genetic group and feeding class was not significant for most of the traits evaluated. The genetic group effect was significant. Animals of the Ca and NeS groups were heavier at slaughter and Ca animals required longer feedlot period to reach the desired fat thickness. Higher slaughter weights of these animals changed their carcass, hindquarter, forequarter and spare ribs weights. The selection for P 378 in the Nellore group resulted in heavier weights at slaughter, heavier carcasses and primary cuts, but lower meat tenderness, although within reasonable values of shear force (below 5.0 kgf).
Caracu; carcass; meat tenderness; Nellore; selection