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.

RW, Purchas, and ST Morris

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 67, Wanaka, 18-22, 2007
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