Effect of breed, grazing system and concentrate supplementation on fattening performance, carcass value and meat quality of steers
Abstract. The aim of the study was to test the influence of breed, grazing system and concentrate level on fattening performance, carcass value and meat quality of steers.
Ninety-six German Simmental and German Holstein steers were fattened using two different grazing systems: continuous grazing system (CGS) and rotational grazing system (RGS). They were supplemented with medium (M) or low (L) concentrate levels. The trial period involved 22 months divided into four phases: phase 1 (indoor), 2 (grazing), 3 (indoor vs. outdoor) and 4 (grazing). In phases 1 and 3 the animals were offered grass silage ad libitum. All animals were supplied with concentrate during phase 1. In phases 3 and 4 the animals were supplied with M or L. Group M consumed a total of 275 kg and group L 191 kg concentrate per steer.
German Simmental steers were significantly superior in all essential parameters of the fattening performance and the carcass value (e.g. final weight: 631 kg vs. 608 kg). German Holstein steers showed better meat quality (intramuscular fat content, tenderness, meat colour) than German Simmental steers. The impact of the grazing system was only for a few parameters (carcass weight, dressing percentage and fat colour). The CGS showed higher grazing yield and higher content of nutrients than the RGS, as a consequence, CGS steers presented heavier carcass weight than RGS steers. Concentrate levels had no effects on the evaluated parameters.