Characterisation of carcass composition and meat quality of male suckling buffalo calves kept on natural grassland
The aim of this observational study (field experiment) was to evaluate carcass composition and meat quality of male suckling buffalo calves. The animals were born between June and September 2011 and were kept on natural pasture in a cow/calf herd. From the end of November 2011, the suckling calves were fed only roughage as feed supplement in a feedlot until slaughter. For a generalised characterisation, the basic statistics of 18 male calves were calculated. The animals were slaughtered at an average live weight of 196.0 kg. Growth, live weight development and most carcass traits varied substantially between individual calves. The 12th rib muscle composition measured by computer tomography indicated comparable meat contents as evaluated by manual dissection of the carcass. Meat quality parameters (pH and colour) and the nutrient composition (protein, fat, ash) of longissimus muscle samples of calves were relatively similar. The intramuscular fat content of longissimus muscle was low, but shows a high variation between 0.3–1.1 %.