Data from 56 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 weight at 378 days of age (P 378) on the chemical composition of empty body weight. The animals were randomly distributed to three experimental classes: initial slaughter (AI), restricted feeding (AR) and ad libitum feeding (AL). The AI class included 4 animals of each genetic group and the AR and AL classes included 8 animals from the NeS and Ca groups and 6 animals from the NeC group. After the adaptation period was finished, animals of the AI class were slaughtered and those from the other classes (AR and AL) started the feeding period which was defined by the time required by the animals of the AL class to reach 4 mm of fat thickness. Animals of the AR class of all genetic groups were also slaughtered. The selection for post-weaning weight did not promote any change on body composition of the animals. The interaction between genetic group and feeding class was not significant for most of the traits evaluated. The genetic group effect was significant. Lower fat and higher protein percentages of empty body were observed in animals of the genetic group Ca, probably due to their larger mature body size.
body composition; Caracu; Nellore; selection