SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.47, no.2, pp.194-201, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of initial fattening age on carcass and meat quality of Simmental bulls imported from Austria to Turkey. These animals were allocated to two initial ages of fattening groups, namely young (n = 74) and old group (n = 61) at 5.5 and 7.5 months old, respectively. After reaching the target final weights, the animals were slaughtered and the carcass characteristics, area and circumference of the longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) muscle, marbling score, and meat quality, including cooking loss, water-holding capacity (WHC), shear force (WBSF), and colour parameters were evaluated in six animals per group. A comparison of hot and cold carcass weights and dressing percentages, LTL circumference, fat thickness values and marbling score indicated no significant differences between young and old groups. However, the LTL area was significantly affected by the initial age. There were no significant differences between groups in WHC, cooking loss, and WBSF values and meat colour parameters. The results of this study showed that the initial fattening age of bulls showed no significant effect on carcass and meat quality parameters, except the LTL area. The LTL area was significantly higher in young group than the old group. Further studies are needed to improve carcass and meat quality of imported Simmental bulls through modifying the initial fattening age.