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Cattle with flighty temperaments have increased muscle glycogen in the longissimus thoracis et lumborum at slaughter compared to calm cattle

Coombes, S.V., Pethick, D.W., Gardner, G.E. and McGilchrist, P. (2012) Cattle with flighty temperaments have increased muscle glycogen in the longissimus thoracis et lumborum at slaughter compared to calm cattle. In: 58th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology, 12 - 17 August, Montreal, Canada

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Abstract

This study measured the effect of cattle temperament on plasma lactate, muscle glycogen and muscle lactate at slaughter in commercial (n=547) and research (n=101) lot fed cattle. Temperament was measured using flight speed (FS) at induction into the feedlot for the commercial cattle, and at weaning for the research cattle. Muscle samples taken at slaughter from the semimembranosus (SM), semitendinosus (ST) and the longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) were analysed for total muscle glycogen and lactate concentration. Blood was collected after exsanguination and analyzed for plasma lactate. As FS increased from 1 to 5 m/s, plasma and muscle lactate concentration increased by 44 and 11% respectively (P<0.05). On the contrary, as FS increased from 1 to 5 m/s, muscle glycogen concentration increased by 19% in the LTL muscle (P<0.05), but there was no effect in the SM or ST. The higher plasma and muscle lactate concentrations of the flighty cattle suggests they mobilize more muscle glycogen immediately before slaughter, but this did not influence total muscle glycogen concentration at slaughter. Thus in this study, it is apparent that flighty cattle are at lower risk of dark cutting, although the mechanisms through which animal temperament delivers variation in glycogen metabolism remain unclear.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/20179
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