The effect of estradiol, trenbolone acetate, or zeranol on growth rate, mammary development, carcass traits, and plasma estradiol concentrations of beef heifers

Moran, C.; Quirke, J.F.; Prendiville, D.J.; Bourke, S.; Roche, J.F.

Journal of Animal Science 69(11): 4249-4258


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812
PMID: 1752801
DOI: 10.2527/1991.69114249x
Accession: 002247009

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The effect of a single implantation (on d 1) with one or two long-acting, biodegradable estradiol implants (1E or 2E) on plasma estradiol concentrations in beef heifers was determined. The growth rates of these (2E) heifers, and of heifers repeatedly implanted with trenbolone acetate (TBA) or zeranol (Z) on d 1, 84, 168, and 252 of the trial, were compared to growth rates of controls. Trenbolone acetate alone was compared to TBA + 2E, and 2E was compared to 1E. At a mean age of 84 d (d 1 of experiment), 81 Hereford x Friesian heifers were allocated at random to the following treatments: Control (n = 15); TBA (n = 15); 1E (n = 12); 2E (n = 15); Z (n = 13); or TBA + 2E (n = 11). Mean live weight (kg) prior to slaughter on d 368 and hot carcass weight (kg) for heifers assigned to treatment Groups 1 to 6, respectively, were 366 and 200, 391 and 212, 374 and 201, 386 and 207, 387 and 210, and 391 and 208 (residual SD = 30.3 and 20.2). Heifers assigned to both the 2E and Z treatments were heavier on d 368 (P less than .05) and had longer teats on d 279 (P less than .05), less pelvic fat (P less than .05), and heavier kidneys (P less than .005) than control heifers. Heifers assigned to the TBA treatment had shorter teats on d 279 (P less than .001) but greater final live weight (P less than .05) and carcass weight than control heifers. Heifers given TBA alone had more pelvic fat (P less than .05) and lighter kidneys (P less than .05) than those given TBA + 2E. Mean estradiol concentrations in both the ipsilateral and contralateral jugular veins of heifers assigned to the 2E and TBA + 2E treatments, and in the ipsilateral jugular veins of heifers given 1E, were greater (P less than .05) than those in control heifers; concentrations did not decline during the experiment.