Carcass merit between and among family groups of Bos indicus crossbred steers and heifers.
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Differences in live and carcass traits attributable to increasing Bos indicus breed influence were compared to the differences between families with similar proportions of B. indicus influence. Families of offspring from 1/2 Angus1/2 B. indicus mated to Angus, B. indicus, and 1/2 Angus1/2 B.indicus were raised under similar conditions. Average daily gain, slaughter weight, and dressing percentage were measured in addition to USDA yield and quality grade factors. Breed type did not affect average daily gain, slaughter weight, dressing percentage, carcass weight, adjusted 12th-rib fat thickness, estimated percentage kidney, pelvic, and heart fat, or carcass maturity. Predominately (3/4) Angus progeny produced greater (P<0.05) longissimus muscle areas than 3/4 B. indicus animals. Predominately Angus cattle also had greater (P<0.05) marbling scores and USDA quality grades than predominately B. indicus cattle. Families within breed types differed (P<0.05) with regard to all traits measured. This is interesting in light of the lack of differences between breeds for most traits. In some instances, the differences in marbling score and longissimus muscle area between families within a given breed type were similar or greater in magnitude than the differences observed between predominately Angus and predominately B. indicus breed types. Whereas growth and carcass traits varied between levels of B. indicus breeding, the opportunity does exists to improve these traits by selecting within specific family lines.