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Prospects for a grass meat production of young Charolais steers in Burgundy.

INRA Prod. Anim., 19(5), 381-392.


1 ENESAD, Unité Systèmes d’élevage et qualité des animaux et des viandes, F-21079 Dijon, France
2 INRA, UR1213 Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
3 Institut de l’Elevage, Ester, BP 6921, F-87069 Limoges, France
4 Chambre d’Agriculture, BP 522, F-71010 Mâcon, France
5 Institut de l’Elevage, 6 rue de Lourdes, F-58000 Nevers, France
6 Ferme Expérimentale, La Prairie, F-71250 Jalogny, France
7 Chambre d’Agriculture, BP 80, F-58000 Nevers, France


The requirements for the extension, featuring and enhancement of the marketing value of meat from 26 month old Charolais steers were studied in Burgundy. The livestock husbandry practices are described by farm management surveys. Several experiments were conducted to assess the effects of early castration and to suggest a steer management pattern over time. Moreover, the economic points of view of the meat marketing chain and those of the farmers were examined. The young steer meat production from grass was quite practical. Castration at 2 months of age vs 9 months did not affect neither the carcass characteristics nor the meat quality. The steers’ carcasses weighed 400-440 kg on average and were equivalent to culled cow carcasses with a lighter meat colour. In the context of the French beef crisis, the regional meat marketing chain showed little interest in the young Charolais steers. However, these steers could complete in the spring the cow supply and that of the crossbreed steers. Some regional meat brands could also use this production. For farm economics, the young steers were equivalent to the young bulls or the store animals.

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