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Production system and slaughter age effects on performance, carcass quality and profit margin of the production of calves and yearlings from Tudanca breed

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Authors: M.J. Humada, C. Sañudo, C. Cimadevilla y E. Serrano
Issue: 109-2 (183-200)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Rustic breed, growth, fatness, grass feeding and productive efficiency

The effect of two production systems (semi-extensive: grass feeding and concentrate in a restricted quantity or intensive: cereal straw and ad libitum concentrate) and two slaughter ages (12 or 14 months) (12SE, 14SE, 12IN and 14IN lots) on performance, carcass quality and profit margin of 33 Tudanca calves weaned at 5 months of age were studied. Concentrate intake from weaning to slaughter was 368, 494, 1,198 and 1,493 kg DM/animal, respectively. Feeding with ad libitum concentrate and straw had a positive effect on live weight at slaughter, carcass weight and dressing percentage. These parameters were also positively affected by the increase of slaughter age; however, no differences between 14SE and 12IN treatments were observed. Carcass fatness from 12SE treatment was lower than the other three treatments, showing no significant difference between them. The percentage of diseccionable fat from the 6th rib and intramuscular fat content was higher in the intensive production system and was not affected by slaughter age. Perirenal fat weight was higher in the intensive system animals and increased with slaughter age. Animals submitted to a semi-extensive system showed a higher efficiency of energy utilization than their counterparts. A positive profit margin was achieved only on animals produced on a semi-extensive system (161 €/head). While this margin increased with slaughter age on semi-extensive system, decreased on intensive system.

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