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J Anim Sci. 2013 Jul;91(7):3457-64. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5437. Epub 2013 May 8.

Body chemical composition of Nellore bulls with different residual feed intakes.

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Centro APTA Bovinos de Corte, Instituto de Zootecnia, Sertãozinho, SP. 14.160-970, Brazil.


Empty body and carcass chemical compositions, expressed as content of water, ether extract, protein, minerals, and energy, were evaluated in Nellore bulls with different residual feed intakes (RFI). Forty-nine not castrated males, with 343 kg of average initial BW and 398 kg of average slaughter BW, were studied. Animals were divided in two subgroups: reference group (RG) and ad libitum feeding group. At the end of the adaptation period, animals of subgroup RG were slaughtered and the other animals were finished in individual pens for approximately 100 d, until they reached a subcutaneous fat thickness over the LM of 4 mm, and were slaughtered at an average age of 540 d. Body composition was obtained after grinding, homogenizing, sampling, analyzing, and combining blood, hide, head + feet, viscera, and carcass. Tissue deposition rates and chemical composition of gain were also measured based on gains estimated by comparative slaughter technique. No significant differences in slaughter BW (P = 0.8639), empty BW (P = 0.7288), HCW (P = 0.6563), or empty body and carcass rates of gain were observed between RFI groups, demonstrating that the low (-0.331 kg DM/d) and high (+0.325 kg DM/d) RFI animals presented similar body sizes and growth rates. No significant differences in empty body or carcass content of water, ether extract, protein, minerals, and energy were observed between the low and high RFI animals. And also there were no significant differences in empty BW or carcass gain, demonstrating that low and high RFI animals had a similar growth potential. More efficient animals (low RFI) consumed less feed than less efficient animals (high RFI) but presented similar body sizes, growth rates, and empty body and carcass chemical composition.

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