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Carcass characteristics of Nordic native cattle breeds

Carcass characteristics of Nordic native cattle breeds

Title: Carcass characteristics of Nordic native cattle breeds
Author: Therkildsen, Margrethe
Vestergaard, Mogens
Kargo, Morten
Keto, Liisa
Ertbjerg, Per
Þorkelsson, Guðjón
Guðjónsdóttir, María
Kjetså, Maria
Honkatukia, Mervi
Egelandsdal, Bjørg
... 5 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2023-02-06
Language: English
Scope: 19
Department: Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition
Series: Genetic Resources; 4(7)
ISSN: 2708-3764
DOI: 10.46265/genresj.LWUP7415
Subject: carcass conformation; carcass fatness; carcass weight; cattle production; genetic resources; mea production; Native cattle breeds; slaughter categories; weight gain; Agronomy and Crop Science; Animal Science and Zoology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/4362

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Therkildsen , M , Vestergaard , M , Kargo , M , Keto , L , Ertbjerg , P , Þorkelsson , G , Guðjónsdóttir , M , Kjetså , M , Honkatukia , M , Egelandsdal , B , Svartedal , N , Røe , M , Fikse , F W , Karlsson , A H & Hessle , A 2023 , ' Carcass characteristics of Nordic native cattle breeds ' , Genetic Resources , vol. 4 , no. 7 , pp. 1-19 . https://doi.org/10.46265/genresj.LWUP7415


Native livestock breeds are part of the history of the Nordic people and comprise a resource for future food production. In this study, net gain and carcass characteristics of two Danish, three Finnish, one Icelandic, six Norwegian and five Swedish native cattle breeds were retrieved and compared to commercial breeds: two beef breeds and two dairy breeds. Breed data were collected from national databases and sorted into six animal categories: young bull, bull, steer, heifer, young cow and cow, for which means and standard deviations were calculated within each country. The native breeds ranged from small-sized milking type breeds with low net gain, carcass weights and EUROP classification to larger multipurpose breeds with high net gains, carcass weights and EUROP classification. All Finnish and most of the Norwegian and Swedish native breeds had lower net gain and carcass weight than the dairy breeds in the same category and country, but with similar carcass conformation and fatness scores. The two Danish native breeds had higher net gain, carcass weight and conformation class than the reference dairy breed, but lower than the reference beef breeds. The net gain and carcass traits of the Icelandic native breed were similar to the smallest-sized native breeds from the other countries. The carcass traits of the native breeds indicate that they have comparative advantages in an extensive production system based on forage and marginal grasslands. They may also succeed better in the value-added markets than in mainstream beef production.


Funding Information: This work was the outcome of a Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) network – ’Nordic Native Meat’ – running from 2018–2021. The authors wish to acknowledge the support from NKJ for network activities. Publisher Copyright: © Copyright 2023 the Authors.

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