Relationship between Coat Color and Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics of Fattened Crossbred Male Calves
Keywords:coat color, body weight, carcass characteristics, meat quality
Coat color in cattle is highly variable. In recent years there has been a tendency to distinguish animals of different breeds by invariable coat colors and pattern in order to maintain a uniformity of appearance specific for each breed. Three hundred crossbred male calves from a commercial herd belonging to the Rations and Fattening Unit, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Egypt, were used in this study to assess the possible relationship between coat color and the growth capacity of fattening crossbred calves. Animals were grouped according to color patterns into full black (FBL), white with black spots (WBS) and brown (BRN) groups of 100 calves each. Body weight and five body measurements on these animals were recorded monthly to test the effect of coat color on growth performance and, thereafter, 30 bulls (10 ̸group) were slaughtered to evaluate carcass characteristics. The results revealed that coat color affected calves body weight, but not did of the studied body measurements. FBL and WBS had heavier weights than BRN. Slaughter weight, hot and cold carcass weights and fore quarters weights was the highest for WBS calves. Longissimus dorsi muscle weight and non-carcass components showed no differences among coat color patterns.
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