The aims of the two trials described here were to compare carcass characteristics and meat quality of Jersey-Friesian cross steers (Je x Fr) with Hereford-Friesian cross steers (He x Fr) and purebred Angus steers. Trial 1, which compared rising 3-year-old He x Fr with Je x Fr steers (20/grp), showed that the Je x Fr group had lighter carcass weights (93%; P<0.001), yellower fat, slightly lower weight-adjusted dressing-out percentages (P<0.01), heavier weight-adjusted livers (P<0.01), and longer carcasses at the same weight (P<0.001). In Trial 2, 27-month Je x Fr steers (n=15) were compared with He x Fr (n=15) and Angus steers (n=14). Differences similar to those for Trial 1 were shown, and in addition the Je x Fr steers had lower fat depths and a lower yield of several cuts from the round.For both trials the Je x Fr group had a more mature pattern of incisor teeth eruption. For Trial 2 the quality of meat from the longissimus muscle did not differ between groups for ultimate pH, intramuscular fat level, colour, Warner-Bratzler shear force, or waterholding capacity. Sensory analysis by a trained panel revealed no differences in tenderness, flavour, or juiciness, in contrast to some other reports where beef from Jersey or Jersey-cross cattle has been favoured. These results indicate that the Je x Fr steers in these trials offered no advantages relative to He x Fr or Angus cattle, but they did show some minor disadvantages. These results, however, need to be considered alongside other reports indicating that Jersey or Jersey-cross steers will sometimes yield beef with advantages in levels of marbling fat and palatability.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 67, Wanaka, 18-22, 2007
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