A comparison of growth, carcass, and meat characteristics of Jersey- and Friesian-cross heifers in a once-bred heifer system of beef production

TitleA comparison of growth, carcass, and meat characteristics of Jersey- and Friesian-cross heifers in a once-bred heifer system of beef production
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsBurke, J.L., Purchas R.W., and Morris S T.
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research
Volume41
Issue1
Pagination91 - 99
Date Published1998
ISBN Number00288233 (ISSN)
KeywordsOnce-bred heifer
Abstract

This two-year study compared growth, carcass, and meat quality characteristics of 57 Hereford x Friesian (H x F) and 45 Hereford x Jersey (H x J) heifers in a Once-Bred Heifer (OBH) beef production system. Liveweights for the H x J group at mating, pre-calving, weaning, and final weighing were 26.5 kg, 22 kg, 35 kg, and 37 kg lighter, respectively, than the H x F group. Birth weights of calves from H x J heifer dams were significantly lighter than for H x F dams. Hereford x Jersey heifers had significantly lighter carcass weights, but similar weight-adjusted dressing-out percentages. At a common carcass weight, H x J carcasses had significantly heavier kidney and pelvic fat, greater fat depths over the eye muscle between ribs 12 and 13, and lower carcass weight-adjusted femur bone weights. At the same carcass weight, the weights of three major hindquarter cuts were heavier for the H x F group, but the ratio of the combined weight of these cuts to femur bone weight was significantly lower for that group. Meat quality characteristics did not differ significantly between the breed-cross groups, although fat of the H x J group was slightly more yellow and Warner-Bratzler shear values were slightly lower. In terms of the total systems, it was estimated that H x F heifers were 7.0% more efficient than H x J heifers in terms of carcass weight production per unit of feed dry matter consumed. It is concluded that Jersey-cross heifers could be used in OBH systems to increase beef production, but that no significant advantages in animal performance, carcass and meat quality traits, or efficiency will result from using this heifer genotype relative to comparable Friesian crosses.

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