Rearing improvement in organic Maremmana beef production:“in

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16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008
Archived at http://orgprints.org/12237
Rearing improvement in organic Maremmana beef production:
“in vivo” performance and carcass characteristics.
Pauselli, M.1, Mele, M. 2, Morbidini, L.3 , Cozza, F. 4& Pollicardo, A.5
Key words: Maremmana breed, Organic beef production, carcass characteristics
Abstract
“In vivo” performance and carcass characteristics of Maremmana young bulls and
steers were evaluated during a three year extension service program based on the
improvement of animal performance and the production of steers. Average slaughter
ages were 568, 562 and 642 (P<0.01) days and the average slaughter weights were
494.2, 567.2 and 548.2 kgs (P<0.01) respectively for young bulls in the first and
second trial year and steers in the third, with a dressing percentage of 52.3%, 53.6%
and 54.82% (P<0.01) respectively. No significant differences were found in carcass
conformation and fatness scores which were similar to those found by other authors in
the same breed reared in similar conditions.
Introduction
The rearing system of Maremmana, one of the most important rustic breeds in Italy, is
characterised by early spring calving season and the use of pasture only by suckling
cattle from spring to fall, when calves are allocated on feedlot and fed by forage and
concentrates until 16–20 months of age, when young bulls are slaughtered. For these
reasons Maremmana could be considered the breed that better than others can
contribute to the organic beef production in Italy. Nevertheless the lack of specific
technical guidelines, more than those in 1804/99 EU Rule, requires specific extension
services programs. Aim of the work was to modify feeding management and
production system in an organic farm, in order to improve growth curves, slaughtering
performance and to evaluate the possibility to rear steers, which are better suited on
the organic farm due to their calm temperament, to the pasture, in a three years
(2002-2005) extension service experimental project proposed by the Regional Agency
for Development and Innovation in Agriculture (ARSIA) of the Tuscany Region.
Materials and methods
In the first and second year spring born calves (eight and six, respectively) were
weaned at the begin of the autumn and allocated in feedlot until slaughtering. In the
1
Department of Applied Biology, Section of Animal Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX
giugno 74, 06122 Perugia, Italy, E-Mail [email protected], Internet www.agr.unipg.it
2
DAGA, Section of Animal Science, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy),
E-mail [email protected], Internet www.agr.unipi.it
3
Department of Applied Biology, Section of Animal Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX
giugno 74, 06122 Perugia, Italy, E-Mail [email protected], Internet www.agr.unipg.it
4
Department of Applied Biology, Section of Animal Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX
giugno 74, 06122 Perugia, Italy, E-Mail [email protected], Internet www.agr.unipg.it
5
DAGA, Section of Animal Science, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy),
E-mail [email protected], Internet www.agr.unipi.it
16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008
Archived at http://orgprints.org/12237
third year calves (seven) were castrated by means of Burdizzo emasculator
immediately after weaning, allocated in feedlot and from spring to mid summer
managed on pasture until fattening, when they were allocated in feedlot until
slaughtering. Weaning weights were 164±25, 215±43 and 165±50 kg, for the first, the
second and the third year, respectively, with great differences dues to the climate.
Weaned calves were given oat hay and oat haylage ad libitum until the beginning of
fattening period, when they were given ad libitum oat hay. During growing period (from
weaning to 90 days before slaughter) and during fattening period (last 90 days before
slaughter), concentrate was supplemented on the basis of 0,8 kg/100 kg live weight
(LW) during the first year and 1 kg/100 kg LW (in order to improve the animal
performance) during the second and third years, according to 1804/99 EU rule
guidelines (40% of concentrates on annual total dry matter intake). Concentrate was
composed by 75% of grounded barley and 25% of grounded field bean during the first
two years and during the growing period of the third and by 80% barley and 20% of
field bean during the fattening period of the third. Forage chemical characteristics are
reported in table 1. From weaning to slaughtering young bulls and steers were
weighted every two months to determine the average daily gain (ADG). The slaughter
age was influenced by the meat demand by consumers, because of direct selling
strategy used by the farm owner. At slaughter, conformation and fatness of carcasses
were evaluated according to the SEUROP grid and converted to continuous variables
in a 18 and 15 levels, respectively. To evaluate relationship between age ad Live
Weight, regression analysis was performed using PROG REG of statistical package
SAS (SAS, 1999). “In vivo” and at slaughter performance data were submitted to
analysis of variance by PROC GLM of the same statistical package.
Tab. 1: Forage chemical characteristics (DM basis)
Parameter
Dry Matter
Crude Protein
Ether Extract
NDF
ADF
ADL
Ash
%
% DM
“
“
“
“
“
Oat hay
88.2
11.5
1.8
54.8
35.6
3.4
7.0
Forages
Oat Haylage
40.2
11.3
2.8
53.3
34.2
3.6
8.9
Pasture
25.8
13.6
2.6
53.4
33.8
2.2
9.5
Results
The rationalization of rearing system was based in: a) concentrate creep feeding
during pre-weaning period; b) increase of concentrate administered during growing
and fattening period and c) steers production using pasture. The relationship between
age and weight follows a cubic trend (Fig. 1) (Table 2). All curves showed a selfaccelerated growth until 370 days of age when growth decelerated until kg 500 LW
similarly to those reported by Sargentini (1998) in the same breed. Young bulls reared
in the second year showed the lower slaughtering age, the higher slaughtering weight
and the higher ADG if compared with first year reared young bulls and steers. The last
ones showed the higher slaughter age and the lower ADG (Table 3). Young bulls
reared before optimization of rearing system showed the lower slaughtering weight
even if slaughter age was similar respect young bulls reared in the second year.
16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008
Archived at http://orgprints.org/12237
Dressing yield was higher in steers than in young bulls (54.82% vs 53.6% and 52.3%:
P<0.01) reared in the second and first year respectively. No significant statistical
differences were found in carcass conformation score and fatness score whose values
corresponded respectively to R in young bulls and R- in steers, and to 3- and 3 on the
basis of SEUROP grids.
Live Weight (kg)
600
500
First Year
Second Year
400
Third Year
300
200
66
0
57
0
48
0
39
0
30
0
21
0
100
Age(d)
.
Figure 1: Growth curves of young bulls and steers during the trial.
Tab. 2: Regression equations for growth parameters.
Years
First
Second
Third
Regression Equations
Y=3.74 + 0.997x – 0.000427x2 + 0.000000396x3
Y=88.71 – 0.271x + 0.005273x2 – 0.00000786x3
Y=167.48 – 0.420x – 0.0035x2 – 0.0000031x3
R2
0.88
0.70
0.88
RSD
47.32
75.32
47.04
Tab. 3: LS Means for “In Vivo” and Slaughter Performance by year
Parameters
Slaughter age
Slaughter weight
Average Daily Gain
Carcass weight
Dressing yield
Carcass conformation score
Carcass fatness score
D
Kg
g/d
“
%
Years
First
568B
494B
947b
258.8B
52.3B
7.75
7.50
A, B: P<0.01; a, b: P<0.05present study
RMSE
Second
562B
567.2A
982a
320.8A
53.6B
7.75
6.50
Third
642A
548A
924b
300.48A
54.82A
7.00
6.60
69.48
38.54
92.53
24.17
2.44
1.4
1.6
16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008
Archived at http://orgprints.org/12237
Discussion
The slower growth rate observed in steers is mainly due to the different hormonal
status. In intact male androgens promote muscular development throughout the
increase in nitrogen retention. This anabolic property of androgens, especially
testosterone, influences ADG of bulls to increase up to 19% than that of steers (Steen,
1995). In the present study ADG of bulls is 6% higher than that of steers, this
difference, even if statistically significant, is quite slight and could be due to different
environmental differences among years. Slaughtering ages, slaughtering weights and
ADG (Table 3) were similar to those found by Sargentini et al. (1998) in the same
breed and Berthiaume et al. (2006) in Angus cross steers fed by 40% barley and 60%
grass silage on daily DM intake. Dressing yields were similar to those found by Marino
et al. (2005) in Podolian young bulls organically reared. Carcass conformation and
fatness scores were respectively similar and higher than those found by Sargentini et
al. (2005) in the same breed organically reared.
Conclusions
If growth curves are considered as a method to evaluate the success of rearing
systems, in the present study they are quite similar to those found by other authors.
Steers performances on pasture during spring appear interesting, because obtained in
typical Mediterranean harsh conditions. Carcass conformation and fattening could be
considered interesting and confirms the good adaptation of Maremmana breed to this
rearing system.
Acknowledgments
Research supported by Development and Research in Agriculture Agency of Tuscany
(ARSIA).
References
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