Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue from male calves at different stages of growth. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this investigation was to compare fatty acid composition of calves from Bos taurus and Bos indicus cows across different stages of growth. Hereford (H) and Brahman (B) embryos were transferred to H or B cows (n = 58) to produce purebred Brahman (BB), purebred Hereford (HH), Hereford x Brahman (HB), and Brahman x Hereford (BH) offspring. Calves were castrated at 2 to 3 wk of age. Before weaning (210 d of age), calves were fed native grasses. After weaning, calves were fed a concentrate diet in dry-lot pens. Adipose tissue was obtained by biopsy at two times: at weaning during forage feeding and 3 mo after weaning when placed on feed. A third sample was collected from the fed steers at slaughter (approximately 430 d of age). Samples obtained by biopsy and after death were collected from the perianal region. Fatty acid composition for each sample was determined as the normalized percentage area means from the duplicate measures. Generally, BB calves grew slowest and BH steers grew fastest (P < .05). The BH steers exhibited 15 and 20% heavier (P < .05) carcasses per day of age than H-sired steers and BB steers, respectively. Adipose tissue samples from calves from Brahman sires or dams were less saturated (P < .05) than samples from calves from Hereford sires or dams. Differences in degree of unsaturation primarily were due to the percentages of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). As calves became older, MUFA increased markedly, polyunsaturated fatty acids increased slightly (due to inverse, nearly proportional changes in 18:2 and 18:3), and saturated fatty acids decreased by 10 percentage units (P < .001). Thus, adipose tissue from Brahman and Hereford purebred and crossbred calves became markedly more unsaturated early postweaning; this change was less dramatic in the purebred Hereford calves.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Huerta-Leidenz, N. O., Cross, H. R., Savell, J. W., Lunt, D. K., Baker, J. F., & Smith, S. B.

citation count

  • 73

complete list of authors

  • Huerta-Leidenz, NO||Cross, HR||Savell, JW||Lunt, DK||Baker, JF||Smith, SB

publication date

  • June 1996