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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Growth, Digestive Capability, Carcass and Meat Characteristics of Bison Bison, Bos Taurus, and Bos X Bison

Authors
item Koch Rober M, - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item Jung Hans G,
item Crouse John D,
item Varel, Vincent
item Cundiff, Larry

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 28, 1994
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Bos taurus gain more rapidly than bison and bison-hybrids, but efficiency of gain was similar among species when fed through a time constant period. The slightly higher digestion coefficients for Bison offers interesting possibilities as an investigative model or for gene introduction into cattle populations. The decreased amount of carcass fat in bison while maintaining as good or better tenderness scores than Bos taurus seems worthy of further study. Because of problems of temperament and market development, bison will likely contribute primarily to niche production and market situations, and as a tool for further research.

Technical Abstract: Three experiments involving 39 Bos taurus, 14 Bison bison, and 20 Bos x Bison fed diets differing in proportions of roughage and concentrate to evaluate growth, digestive capability, carcass, and meat characteristics are reported. Bos taurus consumed more feed/day and gained more rapidly than bison or Bos x Bison. Efficiency of gain was similar for all species types. There was no tendency for bison or Bos x Bison to gain more than Bos taurus on the higher roughage diets. Bison and Bos x Bison had higher digestion coefficients for all components evaluated (i.e., DM, CP, GE, NDF, hemicellulose, and cellulose). Species x diet interactions were not signi- ficant, indicating the higher digestion coefficients of bison were not specific to high roughage diets. Bison and their hybrids had more lean meat and less fat trim in all wholesale cuts except the rib cut. Fat thickness at the 12th rib of bison was higher than Bos taurus because most of the carcass fat of bison is located over the thoracic area. Bison and Bos x Bison had higher dressing percentages and a lower proportion of their carcass in the hindquarter than Bos taurus. Shear force and sensory tenderness scores indicated bison were more tender and had a different flavor than Bos taurus. Bison and Bos x Bison had more cholesterol in the longissimus muscle and less in the subcutaneous fat than Bos taurus. Bison had a lower percentage of white and higher percentage of intermediate muscle fibers than Bos taurus with essentially no difference in percentage of red fibers.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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