Managing Your Bulls Before Slaughter

Beef + Lamb NZ

Type: Factsheet
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

A topical study with the increase in attention paid to stock handling and preparation standards that producers must adhere to.

What is the problem?

In order to produce a quality meat and adequate carcass value, the bulls behavior and features before the slaughter must be handled and managed appropriately. By this means, the farmer will largely benefit from the profit he/she will earn. This fact sheet aimed to assist this advantage so.

What did the research involve?

Based on earlier research conducted by the Beef + Lamb New Zealand of animal behavior and its management up to the effect of its meat after slaughter, this fact sheet presented the beneficial results.

What were the key findings?

● To boost the profits from beef, stress should be reduced so that the pH level that makes the meat firm, dark, dry and less suitable for chilled trade is ensured. Lessening the stress can be attained through cattle-feeding while settling them in the yard in pre-transport, accustoming them to the yard environment, and avoiding dehydration.

● Bulls held on pasture are more interactive, aggressive and sexually active than bulls fed in the hay. This may result in bruising.

● Feeding the cattle before transport results to reduced stress and provide carcass weight if the bulls mixed are familiar with each other. Thus, pulling them off from the pasture for 4 hours in pre-transport and planning the units of loads of cattle must be done ahead.

● Short-term fasting is adequate. Results suggest that fasting for up to 8 hours before transport advances carcass weights and reduces stress if they are settled in the yard for more than 4 hours in pre-loading.

● The study also shows that dehydration plays a part in carcass weight loss. Ergo, farmers need to encourage the cattle to consume a lot of water in pre-transport and ensure the farm’s water availability.

● Mustering cattle off pasture and over long distances in pre-loading, presenting horned stock, and transporting unfit stock must be all avoided.

Final comment

It is vital to perform the provided tips for an efficient bull pre-slaughter management and also avoid the prohibited procedures that may provide high-risks to the productivity and profitability. This management is not a trouble-free task because the basic practices of cattle such as mustering, holding and transporting cattle can be stressful for them. An adequacy of the information and performance are highly necessary.

2013 - New Zealand - Beef + Lamb NZ
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