Evaluation of growth, carcass and meat quality characteristics of grain-fed Charolais and Charolais x Nguni bulls

Author: P.E. Strydom & M. Hope-Jones
Year: 2022
Issue: 2
Volume: 52
Page: 223 - 233

The study investigated the effect of crossbreeding Charolais bulls with Nguni cows on carcass and lean yield and meat quality characteristics. The intact Charolais bulls (n=10) served as control group against the Charolais x Nguni (n=10). The Nguni dam proved a good option for a dam line because of the hardiness of the breed, its mothering ability, ease of calving, and low maintenance cost. In contrast, the Charolais had excellent growth and carcass characteristics. It was a late maturing breed with better growth performance and higher yields than Charolais x Nguni, which could be classified as a medium maturing beef breed. Over the same duration and conditions of feeding the Charolais calves had better feed conversion and growth rates and produced larger carcasses than Charolais x Nguni calves. Owing to the large difference in carcass size, the Charolais had better meat to bone ratio than the Charolais x Nguni (P <0.001). Both breeds produced meat with a desirable appearance and good eating quality and no differences were recorded in the related traits. It could be concluded that Charolais and Charolais x Nguni weaned calves were well suited to the grain-fed market and would produce meat of acceptable quality.

Keywords: calpains, Cross breeding, meat colour, meat tenderness
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