Bos Indicus-Cross Feedlot Cattle with Excitable Temperaments have Tougher Meat and a Higher Incidence of Borderline Dark Cutters

B. D. Voisinet, T. Grandin, S. F. O'Connor, J. D. Tatuma & M. J. Deesing

Department of Animal Sciences,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

(Received 22 November 1996; revised version received 14 March 1997;
accepted 14 March 1997)

Meat Science, Volume 46:4, 367-377. 1997
1997 Elsevier Science Ltd
All nghts reserved. Printed in Great Britain

1-4 0309-1740/97 S17.0() 0.00


Temperament ratings based on a numerical scale (chute score) were assessed during weighing and handling of cattle at a feedlot. Breeds studied included Braford, Red Brangus and Simbrah. Cattle were fed to a constant fat thickness of 9 to 13 mm (target = 1I mm) over the 12th rib as determined by periodic ultrasound measurements. Cattle were slaughtered in a commercial slaughter plant and stunned by captive bolt. Temperament rating had a sign)ficant effect on the incidence of borderline dark cutters which were downgraded by a USDA grader (P=O.OI). Temperament score also had a significant effect on tenderness (P < 0~001) as evaluated by Warner-Bratzler Shear ( WBS) force at day 14 post mortem. The calmest animals which stood still when restrained in a hydraulic squeeze chute had a mean WBS force of 2 86 11 kg and cattle which became highly agitated and struggled violently during restraint averaged 3~63 ~ 19 kg. Forty percent of these cattle had WBS force values which were over 3~9kg which is a threshold value for acceptability in food service establishments. These data show that cattle with the most excitable temperament ratings produce carcasses with tougher meat and a higher incidence of borderline dark cutters than cattle with calm temperament ratings.

1997 Elsevier Science Ltd

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