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Reprod Nutr Dev. 1992;32(5-6):429-40.

The effect of breed-type and castration on bone growth and distribution in cattle.

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University of Alberta, Department of Animal Science, Edmonton, Canada.


Data from carcasses of 210 cattle (119 bulls and 91 steers) from 4 breed types, serially slaughtered from approximately 200-800 kg kg liveweight were used to test the hypothesis of similar gender dimorphism among breeds in relation to carcass bone growth and distribution. Relative to total bone weight, breed types tended to have similar growth rates for all bones other than the cervical vertebrae, ribs, tibia and fibula, and tarsus. Adjusted to the same total bone weight there were significant differences among breed types in bone weight distribution, but the differences were very small and probably of little economic importance. Castration stimulated growth of the lumbar vertebrae, hindlimb bones, patella and hindquarter bones but inhibited growth of the ribs, scapula, carpus, forelimb bone, and forequarter bone. At the same total bone weight, steers as compared to bulls showed a shift in bone weight distribution towards the hindquarter, pistol and long bones. There were small but significant breed x gender interactions in the distribution of some bones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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