Compensatory growth in cattle 1. influence of feeding level during the 1st winter 9 14 months of age on subsequent performance and carcass composition

Drennan, M.J.

Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 18(2): 131-144


ISSN/ISBN: 0578-7483
Accession: 005017740

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Twenty-four single-suckled weanlings (mean weight 286 kg) and 24 pail-fed weanlings (191 kg) were used to determine the effects of plane nutrition during the 1st winter (9-14 mo. of age) on subsequent performance and carcass composition. During the 149 day winter period 3 planes of nutrition (low, moderate and high) were imposed on both categories of weanlings (8 animals/treatment). A low plane of nutrition was provided by feeding silage only. To obtain moderate and high planes the average quantity of concentrates fed daily to suckled animals was 1.84 and 3.96 kg, respectively. The corresponding figures for pail-fed animals were 1.52 and 3.31 kg. Low, moderate and high plane animals had total winter liveweight gains of -2, 58 and 97 kg for suckled and 15, 65 and 109 kg for pail-fed animals, respectively. All animals were subsequently grazed together and the liveweight gains of suckled animals previously fed at low, moderate and high planes of nutrition were 103, 69 and 55 kg during the first 82 days at pasture. The corresponding gains of pail-fed animals were 94, 86 and 75 kg. Animals were slaughtered on reaching 453 kg liveweight and those which had not achieved the target weight at pasture were subsequently fed silage and 2.72 kg of barley daily. The right side of each carcass was dissected and ether extractanalysis carried out on representative samples of the fatty tissue and meat. Plane of nutrition during the 1st winter period had no effect on either overall carcass composition or on the distribution of lean meat, fat or bone in the carcass.