Performance and fatty acid profile of Holstein calves slaughtered at different weights

ABSTRACT Our objective was to evaluate performance and fatty acid contents of the meat of Holstein veal fed in feedlots and slaughtered at four different pre-determined live weights (140, 180, 220, and 260 kg). Twenty-three non-castrated calves with initial average ages of 58 days and 57 kg live weight were used in this study. Average daily gain, dry matter intake, nutrient intake, cold carcass weight, cold carcass yield, scraps, and fat thickness improved with increasing slaughter weight. However, C18:0, C22:0, C18:2Trans10Cis12, C18:1n9Cis acids, sum of unsaturated fatty acids, and lipid content decreased with the increase in slaughter weight. Raising the slaughter weight of Holstein calves from 144 to 260 kg improves the performance of animals, mainly due to the increase in their intake capacity. However, this increase in slaughter weight does not result in significant changes in the fatty acid composition of the meat.