Bulls grow faster than steers but produce meat with lower quality, which presents fewer marketing opportuni-ties. Castration post-puberty improves several attributes of meat quality compared with bulls and theoretically it could be used to exploit the faster growth rates of bulls. How-ever, the 23 kg liveweight advantage of bulls over steers, when surgically castrated at 17 months-of-age, was lost in the subsequent 5 months to slaughter, because of poorer post-castration growth rate (Cosgrove et al.1996). It was not clear whether this was because of stress from surgical castration, or physiological effects associated with their age at castration. This trial examined the effect of age at castration on subsequent growth rate and carcass character-istics at slaughter.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 57, , 196, 1997
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