Immunocastration on performance and meat quality of Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle under different nutritional systems


The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of immunocastration on the animal growth, carcass traits, and meat quality of Nellore cattle receiving or not Ionophore supplementation at pasture or pasture with concentrate (semi-feedlot). The first experiment (Pasture) was carried out during the rainy season, while the second (supplemented = Semi-feedlot) was conducted during the dry season. In each assessment, 60 males were allocated into three treatments, in a completely randomized design: non-castrated, immunocastrated (antigonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine), and immunocastrated animals receiving ionophore. The highly energetic supplemented diet was prepared using 85 % corn and 10 % soybean meal at 1 % body weight, while the ionophore was provided with salt containing 1,650 mg kg(-1) of lasalocid. After slaughter, the carcasses were graded, and Longissimus thoracis et lumborum samples were collected for meat quality analysis. The non-castrated animals exhibited a more significant final body weight and hot carcass weight than those immunocastrated regardless of ionophore supplementation (p < 0.05). The carcasses of non-castrated animals had less fat cover and marbling than castrated animals. A high incidence of dark cutting beef was verified in non-castrated animals. The immunocastrated cattle produced tenderer beef, mainly at pasture rearing. In conclusion, regardless of production system or ionophore supplementation, immunocastration was an adequate choice to generate high-quality meat, since it increased marbling and improved beef tenderness. However, limitations regarding animal growth should be estimated.



DFD, beef tenderness, marbling, grown performance, ionophores

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Scientia Agricola. Cerquera Cesar: Univ Sao Paolo, v. 78, n. 2, 10 p., 2021.