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Beef quality traits of heifer in comparison with steer, bull and cow at various feeding environments

Abstract The present review has been focused largely on the sex type differences in beef quality among heifers, cows, steers and bulls in various feeding environments. Genetic groups, feeding systems and gender are the major factors that change carcass characteristics and fatty acid profiles of cattle. Studies identified that heifer beef has super characteristics in eating quality and a better healthy composition in fatty acids than steer, cow and bull. Diet influences the variation of fatty acid profile; particularly the level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) interacts with breed and sex. Animals finished in pasture systems were reported to show better ratios of PUFA/ saturated fatty acids and n‐6/n‐3. Carcasses of roughage‐fed beef are lighter and have less marbling and lower quality grades but have higher cutability than carcasses of grain‐fed bulls. Heifers and cows are reported to deposit more fat than steers and bulls. Among males, lower production of testosterone by steers favors more fat thickness compared with bulls. Marbling greatly varies among cattle belonging to different sexes, and particularly, females have genetic makeup that efficiently controls deposition. The current review identified that heifers can be a premium beef brand, while steer beef currently take a large part of market share across the world.

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