This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Effects of immunocastration on the performance and meat quality traits of feedlot-finished Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of immunocastration on the performance, testosterone concentration, carcass traits and meat quality of feedlot-finished Nellore cattle. Fifty-eight males (430 ± 36 kg bodyweight; 24 mo old) were separated into three groups in a randomised complete design: surgically castration (n = 15), immunocastrated (anti-GnRH - Bopriva® vaccine, n = 21), and non-castrated (n = 22). The animals were housed in individual pens and fed ad libitum for 90 days with a common diet comprising 70% concentrate and 30% roughage (corn silage). The non-castrated animals had a greater average daily gain, feed efficiency, hot carcass weight and carcass yield than the surgically castrated and immunocastrated animals (P < 0.05). Surgically castrated cattle grew faster and more efficiently than those castrated immunologically (P < 0.05). The surgically castrated and immunocastrated animals had higher colour values L *, a *, and b * and cooking loss than non-castrated animals (P < 0.05). In conclusion, immunocastration decreased cattle performance compared with surgically castrated or non-castrated animals. However, immunocastration resulted in better meat quality compared with non-castrated, making it an alternative to surgical castration with no negative effects on animal welfare.
AN17102 Accepted 12 September 2017
© CSIRO 2017