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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

ASIZUA, D. et al. Growth and slaughter characteristics of Ankole cattle and its Boran and Friesian crossbreds. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 81-85. ISSN 0375-1589.

One hundred and forty four bulls comprising 48 animals of each breed, i.e. purebred Ankole (ANK) and its crossbreds with Boran (AXB) and Friesian (AXF) were assigned to three feeding systems (FS) to evaluate their performance for improved beef production. The bulls, averaging 191 ± 9.6 kg live weight and 18 months of age, were arranged in a completely randomized design in a 3 X 3 factorial treatment arrangement. The feeding systems comprised: T1 (Grazing alone), T2 (Grazing + concentrate) and T3 (feedlot finishing with maize stover plus 60% concentrate fed ad libitum). Both genotype and feeding system affected growth and slaughter characteristics. The AXF crossbreds had higher average daily gain (ADG) (620 g/day) than ANK (560 g/day) and AXB (500 g/day). Average daily gain was higher in T3 (850 g/day) than in T2 (550 g/day) and T1 (270 g/day). Hot carcass weight and dressing percentage varied in a descending order of 145, 132, 110 kg and 52, 51 and 50% for T3, T2 and T1, respectively. Similar trends were observed for non-carcass components although there were no differences between T3 and T2. Except for external non-carcass components, genotype did not affect slaughter characteristics. The results of this study indicated that the indigenous Ankole cattle have a great potential for beef production when finished in a feedlot even without crossbreeding.

Keywords : Indigenous cattle; feedlot; performance.

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