Twenty-four nonlactating and nonpregnant Belgian Blue double-muscled cows, with diverging parities (one to seven), body conditions and body weights (436 to 903 kg), were used to investigate empty body (EB) composition. Direct measurements of EB composition, such as water, fat, protein, ash and energy, were carried out after slaughter. EB weight (EBW) averaged 624.7 kg and consisted of 393.3 kg water, 122.3 kg protein, 84.5 kg fat and 24.6 kg ash and was characterized by an energy content of 6158 MJ. Relationships between body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), chest girth, dressing percentage, carcass grading score, EBW, rib-cut components and EB composition were determined. Significant regression equations (P<0.001) with a coefficient of determination (R2) of more than 0.9 were obtained between BW or BW and BCS and EB water, EB fat and EB energy. The prediction of EB ash was less accurate (R2<0.75). The relationship could further be improved by inclusion of carcass characteristics and rib-cut components (R2>0.95). Energy contents of EB lipids and protein amounted to 39.3 and 23.2 MJ/kg. EB protein (197 g/kg) was higher in the present double-muscled cows than reported for non-double-muscled animals, while EB fat (126 g/kg) and EB energy (9.5 MJ/kg) were lower. One BCS unit corresponded with 26.7 kg EB fat (P<0.001; R2=0.659). It can be concluded that simple live animal measurements as BW and BCS can be considered as potentially useful predictors of EB composition in double-muscled cows. Theoretical calculations based on the present observed data indicated that body reserves were lower in Belgian Blue double-muscled cows than in most other breeds. Body reserve tissue may be limited in young primiparous suckling cows so that energy restriction may be detrimental for reproductive performance.
|Tijdschrift||Livestock Production Science|
|Publicatiestatus||Gepubliceerd - 2005|
- Body composition
- Double muscling
- Belgian Blue