Animal Production Science Animal Production Science  Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

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Effects of immunocastration on the performance and meat quality traits of feedlot-finished Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle

Juan Gómez , Arlindo Saran Netto , Daniel Antonelo , Juliana Silva , Guilherme Sene , Henrique Silva , Nathalia Dias , Paulo Leme , Saulo Silva

Abstract

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