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Castration has long been a traditional practice in the United States. Research studies indicate that intact males grow more rapidly, utilize feed more efficiently and produce a higher-yielding carcass with less fat and more edible product. The disadvantages of the intact male include aggressive behavior (bull and boar); undesirable odors and flavors (boar and ram); lower quality grade (bull); lower meat tenderness (bull and ram) and undesirable meat color (bull and ram). Research is needed to develop antemortem and(or) postmortem handling procedures that offset the disadvantages of the intact male so that the meat and livestock industry can take advantage of their rapid growth and favorable lean production traits. This paper reviews the growth characteristics, carcass traits and consumer acceptance of meat from intact males.


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.