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Meat Sci. 2008 Sep;80(1):86-93. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2008.04.017. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Do indigenous Southern African cattle breeds have the right genetics for commercial production of quality meat?

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Animal Production Institute (API), Agricultural Research Council of South Africa, Private Bag X2, Irene 0062, South Africa.


The establishment of cattle breeds which are now indigenous to Africa is believed by historians to be very closely associated with man, his development, migration and specific behaviour from 6000 years BC. Today these breeds compete with exotic breeds in a commercial system driven by global economical principles. Results from various trials are discussed to verify if these breeds can adhere to these principles and compete in the South African beef market to produce quality beef economically. Variation in frame size among indigenous breeds will determine their suitability as feedlot cattle depending on the price and feed margins driving profit in this industry sector. Meat quality analyses indicate small or no differences between indigenous and exotic European/British breeds but with potentially superior quality compared to Bos indicus breeds.

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