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Effect of health status on fattening performance in young crossbred polish Holstein‐Friesian × Limousin Bulls and steers

Wielgosz‐Groth, Zofia, Sobczuk‐Szul, Monika, Nogalski, Zenon, Pogorzelska‐Przybyłek, Paulina, Purwin, Cezary
Animal science journal = 2017 v.88 no.7 pp. 1012-1020
Holstein, beef, body weight, bones, bulls, calves, carcass quality, carcass weight, castration, cattle feeding, conjugated linoleic acid, crossbreds, fatty acid composition, feed conversion, feed intake, finishing, health status, intramuscular fat, lean meat, liveweight gain, longissimus muscle, milk replacer, polyunsaturated fatty acids, roughage, rubber, steers, Netherlands
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of disease incidence on selected parameters of cattle fattening performance and carcass quality, and the fatty acid profile of beef. The experimental materials comprised 16 bulls and 16 steers, Polish Holstein‐Friesian × Limousin crossbreeds (including 10 healthy and six treated animals of each category). At 5 weeks of age, bloodless castration was carried out using a rubber elastrator. The calves were fed milk replacer provided in automatic feeding stations. Until 540 days of age, the animals were fattened in an Animal Research Laboratory equipped with the Roughage Intake Control (RIC) system (Insentec, the Netherlands). In comparison with healthy (untreated) bulls and steers, sick (treated) animals had lower average body weight at 180 days of age, by 37 kg (P ≤ 0.05) and lower average final body weight at 540 days of age, by 56 kg (P ≤ 0.05). Sick animals were characterized by lower feed intake and worse feed efficiency (not statistically significant differences). Hot carcass weight reached 318 kg in healthy animals and 258 kg in treated bulls (P ≤ 0.05). In treated steers, the percentage of lean meat and bones in the three‐rib section was higher and the percentage of fat was lower, compared with their healthy counterparts (P ≤ 0.01). There was a category × health status interaction for carcass tissue composition. There were no significant influences of type of sickness on analyzed traits. In comparison with healthy steers, intramuscular fat of Musculus longissimus dorsi (MLD) from treated steers had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (n‐6 and n‐3) and a lower content of conjugated linoleic acid.