oa Agriprobe - Growth and meat quality of Holstein and Fleckvieh X Holstein bull calves

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1810-9799



In South Africa meat from cattle is classified as veal when no molar teeth have erupted yet or the carcass weight is below 100kg. In South Africa this is a small niche market not yet fully exploited. Little research has been done on the quality of veal locally. Furthermore little information is available on the effect of the quality of veal resulting from crossbreeding dairy cows with beef breeds to increase beef production of a dairy herd. This study details slaughter and carcass traits of 14 Holstein and 14 Fleckvieh X Holstein bull calves. Slaughter weight, cold carcass weight and dressing percentage of carcasses were determined. Fat depth was measured at two sites, i.e. 25mm from the midline at the 13th rib and between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae. The pH of the meat was measured 45 minutes (pH) and 48 hours post mortem (pH). The (11-13th rib) muscle was used for meat quality characteristics: drip loss, colour, cooking loss and shear value. The calves were slaughtered at the same live weight and no differences in slaughter age (141 vs. 143 days), carcass weight and dressing percentage (51.3 vs. 51.1 %) were found between Holstein and Fleckvieh X Holstein calves. Fat depth measured at two sites did not differ between breeds. Initial pH of the meat from purebred Holstein calves was lower than meat from Fleckvieh X Holstein calves (6.49 vs. 6.66). No differences were found in the other meat characteristics. The performance of crossbred calves was similar to that of purebred calves in terms of growth. Crossbreeding Holstein cows with Fleckvieh bulls had no detrimental effects on any of the meat quality characteristics measured.

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