Dressing percentage and Carcass characteristics of four Indigenous cattle breeds in Nigeria
Forty (40) bulls comprising ten (10) each of Azawak, Bunaji, Rahaji and Sokoto Gudali breeds of cattle with live weights ranging between 200 and 235 Kg and aged between 1½ and 2 years were used for the study. Their feed intake, live and carcasses weights and the weights of their major carcass components and offals were used to provide information on their carcass characteristics. Final weight was significantly (P<0.05) different in Rahaji, Sokoto Gudali and Azawak breeds having weight of 300, 300, 299 Kg, respectively compared to Bunaji having 296 Kg. Similarly, feed conversion efficiency was also significantly (P<0.05) different between the breeds with Rahaji, Sokoto Gudali and Azawak breeds having similar (P>0.05) values which were lower than the value obtained for Bunaji. The carcass components used were: empty carcass, fore-and hind-quarters and fillet, internal offals (heart, liver, lungs, spleen, kidney and the rumen) and external offals (head, tail, legs and skin). Results obtained indicated no significant (P>0.05) difference between the breeds. However, the fasted live body weight of Azawak and Rahaji were significantly (P< 0.05) heavier (303.50 and 300 Kg) than Bunaji and Sokoto Gudali (273.5 and 287.5 Kg) respectively. Most of the major carcass components of Rahaji and Azawak were significantly (P< 0.05) higher than those of Bunaji and Sokoto Gudali. It was concluded that breed difference affects carcass traits of cattle.
Key words: indigenous cattle; breeds; carcass characteristics; dressing percentage, offals