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Meat Sci. 2004 Jun;67(2):195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2003.10.006.

Effects of feeding intensity and time on feed on performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of Simmental bulls.

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Section of Animal Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, Technical University of Munich, Hochfeldweg 6, Freising-Weihenstephan D-85350, Germany.


Seventy two Simmental bulls, weighing 489 kg and approximately 15 months old fed extensively or intensively on maize silage and concentrate mixture for 100 or 138 days, were divided into four groups to assess the effect of time on feed and feeding intensity on the performance, carcass and meat quality traits. Bulls intensively fed for 138 days before slaughter had higher final body weight (673.7 kg) compared with the other three groups (610.6 kg, as overall mean). Intensive feeding significantly increased the average daily gain (1371 g/day) and improved the feed efficiency (6.95 kg DM/kg gain) compared with extensive feeding (943 g/day and 7.97 kg DM/kg gain). No significant differences were detected by time on feed. Hot carcass and kidney fat weights were significantly higher for intensively fed bulls compared with extensive ones. Dressing percentage significantly increased for 138 day groups compared with 100 day groups. Carcass conformation and fatness scores significantly improved by intensive feeding. L and b(*) values were not affected by time on feed or feeding intensity. Slaughtering after 138 days on feed significantly elevated the meat redness value (a(*)). Intensive feeding significantly decreased moisture and increased fat content of the longissimus dorsi muscle. Shear force, collagen content, juiciness, flavour and sarcomere length did not differ by time on feed or feeding intensity, while inconsistent effects were observed on tenderness and solubility of collagen.

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