Growth and carcass characteristics were measured on 975 Holstein bull calves raised on four commercial veal farms (nine feeding groups). Average values for blood hemoglobin (Hb), live weight and gain, dressing percentage (DP; hide-on and hide-off), visual muscle color score, rib-eye-area (REA), and carcass conformation score were 7.8 g/dl, 187.1 kg, 1.46 kg/d, 67.4%, 60.4%, 1.42, 42.0 sq cm, and 11.7, respectively. Carcass weights averaged 127.6 and 112.4 kg for hide-on and hide-off, respectively. There were few significant correlations of Hb with growth performance, carcass weight or DP. Pre-slaughter Hb was correlated 0.54 (P < 0.01) with flank muscle color score. Calves which were either heavier or which gained weight more rapidly tended to have slightly lower muscle color scores, larger REA and higher carcass conformation scores. Results from this study suggest that pre-slaughter Hb levels are higher than previously reported in specialfed veal, and there is no apparent relationship of Hb value, red blood cell count or mean corpuscular hemoglobin with growth performance traits. Although final Hb values were moderately predictive of muscle color score (accounting for 29% of the within-group variance), apparently there are other factors both within and between farms which influence muscle color in special-fed veal carcasses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science