Date of this Version
Data were tenderness measures on steaks from 237 bulls (Group II) slaughtered after producing freezable semen and on 1,431 related steers and heifers (market animals, Group I ) from Angus, Hereford, Pinzgauer, Brahman, and Sahiwal crosses from the Germ Plasm Evaluation project at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Tenderness was assessed through Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (SF), taste panel tenderness (TPT), marbling score (MS), and myofibrillar fragmentation index (MFI). For all traits, as fraction Bos indicus inheritance increased, implied tenderness decreased. Heritability estimates were generally not significantly different from zero. Genetic correlations generally indicated favorable associations among the traits. The range in predicted breeding values of bulls for market animal tenderness was small and from .34 to .32 kg for market animal shear force. Because of low estimates of heritability for SF or TPT, results from this experiment indicate that selection based on tenderness of steaks sampled from intact or late castrate males slaughtered following collection of freezable quality semen would not be very effective in improving average tenderness of steaks from steers or heifer progeny. If a mean of heritability estimates reported in the literature of .27 for shear value was assumed for market steer and heifer progeny instead of .02 as found in the present study, then selection based on estimates of shear force in young bulls would be relatively more effective in improving shear force of market progeny.