Residual feed intake, carcass traits and meat quality in Nellore cattle.
Additional Document Info
A total of 127 Nellore bulls classified as low and high residual feed intake (RFI), from three selection lines, were evaluated in five experiments aiming to identify associations between RFI, carcass, and meat quality traits. Feedlot performance, carcass traits, and meat quality of Longissimus muscle were evaluated. A mixed model including the fixed effects of RFI class, selection line, interaction between RFI class and selection line, and age at slaughter as a covariate, and the random effects of diet within experiment and experiment was used, with means compared by the t-test. Feed intake average difference was 0.962kg/day; low RFI animals consumed 0.479kg/day less feed and high RFI animals consumed 0.483kg/day more feed than expected. No differences between RFI classes were detected for most of studied variables, demonstrating the absence of unfavorable associations between RFI and carcass and meat quality traits. Low RFI Nellore animals use feed efficiently and produce good quality carcasses and meat.