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Effect of increasing energy levels on mass gain and carcass characteristics during the finishing period of beef cattle


, : Effect of increasing energy levels on mass gain and carcass characteristics during the finishing period of beef cattle. Agroanimalia 11(4): 45-50

Weaned Simmental steers were exposed at 2 fixed stages in the finishing period from 230-440 kg body mass to an increased level of energy nutrition by substituting maize meal for maize silage. Four groups of 10 steers each were utilized during each of the 2 yr in which the investigation was repeated. Group 1 received only maize silage and group 4 only concentrates while groups 2 and 3 received the concentrated ration from 370 and 300 kg body mass, respectively. All diets were fed ad lib. No significant differences for dry matter-intake occurred among the various treatments. In comparison with an all-silage ration a statistically (P < 0.01) higher daily live mass gain was observed for steers receiving the concentrate diet from 230 and 300 kg live mass. Feeding the concentrate ration from 370 kg live mass resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) and from 230 and 300 kg live mass a highly significant (P < 0.01) improvement in efficiency of feed conversion to carcass mass in comparison with an all-silage ration. Silage quality differed during the 2 yr of the experiment and appeared to influence dressing percentage and carcass grade. These characteristics were improved to a greater extent by the feeding of the high concentrate ration where silage with a low (27% on air dry basis) rather than a high (48% on air dry basis) grain content was fed. Feeding of the high concentrate ration resulted in a significantly (P < 0.01) greater eye muscle area (P < 0.01) compared to the silage ration. The replacement of the good quality silage (48% grain) ration by the high concentrate ration from 300 kg live mass resulted in a largest profit above feed costs, followed by the steers receiving a high concentrate ration from 370 kg live mass.

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