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The influence of dietary roughage level on the efficiency of growth and muscle deposition in bulls and steers

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Bulls and implanted steers fed three dietary roughage levels (20% 50%, and 80% alfalfa-brome hay) were compared for various measures of efficiency in beef production. Cattle were about 1 yr of age at the start of the trial and bulls were heavier than steers (290 kg vs. 269 kg). There were four pens, each containing three cattle in every sex × dietary roughage combination. Animals in a pen were slaughtered when pen means approximated 450 kg or 580 kg. Increasing the level of roughage in the diet (20% to 80%) resulted in a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in both daily gain and liveweight gain per 100 MJ DE. The 50% roughage diet produced intermediate results. At a constant liveweight there was no significant (P < 0.05) effect of dietary roughage level on carcass muscle. Bulls produced 9% more muscle than steers at a constant liveweight. Muscle gain per 100 MJ DE decreased significantly (P < 0.05) with roughage level, and was higher for bulls than steers. For a constant amount of feed energy (24 148 MJ DE) bulls fed the 20% roughage diets produced 26.8 kg more carcass muscle (P < 0.05) than bulls fed the 80% roughage diet. Similarly, steers fed the 20% roughage diet produced 16.1 kg more carcass muscle (P < 0.05) than steers fed the 80% roughage diet. Bulls produced 23% more muscle than steers for a constant digestible energy intake (24 148 MJ DE). The overall results thus indicate that dietary roughage and sex-type cause large differences in the amount of carcass muscle produced for a constant energy intake.

  • Date created
    1981
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WM13X8Q
  • License
    @1981 Jones, S. D. M., Price, M. A., Berg, R. T., Hardin, R. T. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Jones, S.D.M., Price, M.A., Berg, R.T. and Hardin, R.T. (1981). The influence of dietary roughage level on the efficiency of growth and muscle deposition in bulls and steers. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 61(2), 369-374. doi: 10.4141/cjas81-045
  • Link to related item
    http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/cjas81-045