Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

W. A. Pichler and J. J. Frickh:

Investigations about the influence of design, growing period, feeding rations and origin on fattening performance and slaughter value of young Simmental bulls


In a feeding experiment with 310 Simmental male cattles the question was to examine the influence of their origin (country breed versus research farm), feeding level (high- 9.11 MJ ME, medium - 8.60 MJ ME and low- 8,06 MJ ME per kg dry matter - DM) as well as fattening period (365, 425 and 485 days of life (DOL)) on fattening and slaughtering performance. Bulls were fed with pellered complete diets ad libitum.

The results show, that the origin had no significant influence on fattening performance (live weight, daily gain).

Regarding feed and nutrient intake there were significant differences only with a few characteristics (dry matter consumption at the fattening period 245th-305th DOL and intake of crude protein - XP on the fattening periods 185th - 245th, 245th-305th as well as 305th - 365th DOL). Feed conversion (DM/kg gain) and ME intake were not affected by origin. Characteristics of slaughter value on the other hand were influenced by origin (meat and fat yield of car casses, percentage of high priced cuts).

Feeding level had a distinctive influence on the live weights of the animals, especially between the low and the high feeding level. The live weights in the high feeding level were 444.0 kg on the 365th DOL, 510.4 kg on the 425th DOL and 577.2 kg on the 485th DOL. Daily gain was effected by feeding level only in the first three fattening periods.

During the whole fattening period (125th DOL until slaughtering) the daily gains were 1095 g in the low feeding level, 1159 g in the medium feeding level and 1186 g in the high feeding level. Feeding level had no significant influence on the daily intake of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (XP), but certainly on the intake of energy (ME). With the exception of meat yield, feeding level significantly effected the characteristics of slaughtering performance (slaughter weight, dressing percentage, net gains etc.). The value of fat percentage in the low feeding level was 7.13 %, in the medium feeding level 7.48 % and in the high feeding level 7.83 %. Net gains were 643 g, 679 g and 706 g, respectively: Fattening period effected fattening performance and carcass composition. Fattening period increased average daily feed intake as well as feed conversion. Energyutilisation (ME) per kg gain was 70.55 MJ (365th DOL), 74.49 MJ (425th DOL) and 64.08 MJ (485th DOL). Daily gains differed significantly between 365th DOL (1166 g) and 485th DOL (1123 g).

Net gains did not depend on fattening period. All other recorded characteristics of slaughter value were certainly effected by fattening period. Meat yield was 73.47 % (365th DOL), 73.75 % (425th DOL) and 74.22 % (485th DOL). Fat proportion increased from 7.21 % (365th DOL) up to 7.48 % (425th DOL) and 7.75 % (485th DOL). With the exception of the proportion of valuable cuts no further interactions between the main effects could be proofed.

Key words:  fattening performance, young Simmental bulls, fattening period.