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Beef Production Systems with Steers of Dairy and Dairy × Beef Breeds Based on Forage and Semi-Natural Pastures

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  • Anna Hessle, Department of Animal Environment and Health, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara, Sweden, Sverige
  • Margrethe Therkildsen
  • Katarina Arvidssson-Segerkvist, Department of Animal Environment and Health, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara, Sweden, Sverige
This study compared animal performance and carcass characteristics in steers born to a dairy breed dam and a dairy or beef breed sire allocated to one out of two production systems, both including grazing semi-natural pastures during summer. Spring-born groups comprising 16 purebred dairy (D) steers and 16 dairy × Charolais crossbreeds (C) were allocated to moderately high indoor feed intensity with slaughter at 21 months of age (H), while two corresponding autumn-born groups of 16 D and 16 C animals were allocated to low indoor feed intensity with slaughter at 28 months of age (L). The animals were mainly fed grass-clover silage while housed. The H steers grazed semi-natural pastures for one summer, whereas the L steers grazed semi-natural pastures for two summers. From weaning to slaughter, liveweight gain was 0.94 and 0.77 kg day−1 for H and L steers, respectively (p < 0.0001), with no breed effect on weight gain. However, C carcasses had a higher weight, conformation score, and proportion of high-valued retail cuts than D carcasses (p ≤ 0.004). Moreover, conformation differed more between LC and LD than between HC and HD. From this study on forage and pasture-based beef production, we concluded that breed had no effect on the performance of living animals, but that dairy × beef crossbred steers produced heavier and higher-quality carcasses than pure-bred dairy steers
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer1064
TidsskriftAnimals
Vol/bind9
Nummer12
Antal sider17
ISSN2076-2615
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

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