A cooperative, on-ranch study was conducted to determine the effect of time of castration on ADG, carcass characteristics, and consumer preference. Sixty-five bull calves were randomly assigned to three treatments: early castrates (E), weaned castrates (W) and late castrates (L). Results indicated no differences between treatments for ADG, backfat, ending live weight, hot carcass weight, or dressing percentage. Ribeye area and cutability were higher for the L, and marbling score and yield grade were lower for L. Consumer panelists who ate beef regularly identified E as more tender, juicy, and flavorful and had better overall acceptability than W or L.

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