Carcass Characteristics of Tropical Beef Cattle Breeds (West African Shorthorn, Sanga and Zebu) in Ghana|
Teye, G.A. & Sunkwa, W.K.
In Ghana, butchering is one of the most common and lucrative jobs in villages, towns, and cities as a major source of employment and wealth creation for mostly traditional butchers. Though there is an ever changing meat processing standard internationally, butchers in Ghana on the other hand are still holding tight to their old practices and customs. Live animals are bought based on visual assessment and not by weight. Some of the butchers sell their products without weighing. There are no suitable weighing scales to determine live and carcass weights. This preliminary study was conducted using 35 animals to provide a means of a more accurate estimation of live and carcass weights of three tropical cattle beef cattle; the Zebu (Plate1), the humpless West African shorthorn (WASH) (Plate2) and the Sanga (Ghana Sanga), a crossbreed between WASH and Zebu (Plate3). Their live and carcasses weights and the weights of their major carcass components and offal were used to provide information on their carcass characteristics. The carcass components used were: empty carcass, fore-and hind-quarters and filet, internal offal (heart, liver, lungs, spleen, kidney and the rumen) and external offal (head, tail, legs and skin). In terms of live weight, the Zebu was significantly (P< 0.001) heavier (309 Kg), than the Sanga (202 Kg) and the WASH (162Kg). Consequently, the zebu had a heavier (P< 0.001) carcass weight (156kg) than the Sanga (93kg) whilst the WASH had the least carcass weight (73kg) (P< 0.001). All the major carcass components of the Zebu were significantly (P< 0.001) heavier than that in the Sanga and the WASH. Correlations on all the three breeds demonstrate high positive relationships between carcass components and the live and carcass weights. In all the three breeds, the fore-quarters constituted higher percentages (average 53.7%) of the carcass weights than the hind-quarters (average 46.3%). Those carcass components (fore- and hind-quarters, head and legs), which were positively correlated to live weight could be used to predict the live weights of these animals. The offal (heart, liver and spleen), which are positively correlated to the carcass weight could also be used to estimate or predict the carcass weights. Due to their small size, the beef performance of the WASH is generally low, although the dressing percentages are similar to those of the Sanga and the Zebu.
Carcass, offal, Sanga, Zebu hind-quarters