Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The beef industry is under increasing pressure to reduce fat while improving palatability of beef products. One way to accomplish this is to utilize breeds of cattle that will more closely meet product targets. This project was designed to determine differences among beef breeds for economically important traits. Carcass traits and ribeye steak eating quality of steers produced by mating Hereford and Angus cows to Hereford, Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Pinzgauer, Shorthorn, Galloway, Longhorn, Nellore, Piedmontese, or Salers bulls were compared. Piedmontese steers produced the leanest, heaviest muscled carcasses. Shorthorn and Hereford x Angus carcasses were the fattest and least muscular. Marbling scores were highest for Hereford x Angus, Pinzgauer, and Shorthorn steers and lowest for Charolais, Nellore and Piedmontese steers. Piedmontese and Pinzgauer steers produced the most tender meat and Nellore steers produced the least tender meat. Because of the large variation within and among breeds for most traits, significant genetic change could result from selection both among and within breeds. However, among-breed differences may be more easily exploited than within-breed differences because they are more highly heritable, more easily identified, and less time is required. No breed excels in all traits, but Piedmontese provided the highest and Nellore the lowest opportunity to produce lean, muscular carcasses with tender meat.
Technical Abstract: Carcass and longissimus thoracis palatability traits of carcasses from 888 steers obtained from mating Hereford and Angus cows to Hereford or Angus (HA), Charolais (Ch), Gelbvieh (Gb), Pinzgauer (Pz), Shorthorn (Sh), Galloway (Gw), Longhorn (Lh), Nellore (Ne), Piedmontese (Pm), and Salers (Sa) sires were compared. Data were adjusted to constant age (426 d), carcass weight (324 kg), fat thickness (1.2 cm), fat trim percentage (23%), and marbling (Small**00) end points. At a constant age of 426 d, carcasses from Ne- and Pm-sired steers dressed higher than all other sire breeds. Carcasses from AI Charolais steers were heaviest, and Gw and Lh carcasses were lightest. Adjusted fat thickness was greatest on carcasses from HA and least on carcasses from Ch, Gb, Lh, and Pm steers. USDA numerical yield grades were lowest for carcasses from Pm and highest for carcasses from HA, Ne, and Sh steers. Marbling scores were highest for carcasses from HA, Pz, and Sh and lowest for carcasses from Ch, Ne, and Pm steers. Longissimus thoracis from Pz had a higher tenderness rating and lower shear force than most other breeds. Longissimus thoracis of carcasses from Ne steers was least tender. Adjustment of carcass traits to other end points resulted in changes in relative sire breed differences depending on the end point and the carcass trait being considered. Adjustment of palatability traits to other end points had little effect on relative sire breed differences. Carcasses from Pm- sired steers provided the most desirable, and from Ne-sired steers the least desirable combination of carcass and longissimus palatability traits.