Effects of estradiol 17 beta or zeranol with or without trenbolone acetate on live weight gain carcass composition and zeranol residues in steers on an 18 month beef system

Southgate, J.R.; Peters, A.R.; Dixon, S.N.

Animal Production 47(2): 209-214


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3561
Accession: 007273858

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A comparison of anabolic treatment regimes was made in 761 autumn-born Friesian steers on 14 farms. Prior to turn-out for grazing at 6 months of age and approximately 180 kg live weight, steers were weighed and divided into three equal-weight groups. Group 1 received silastic implants containing 45 mg oestradiol-17.beta. Group 2 received 36 mg zeranol and group 3 were untreated controls. All steers were weighed at intervals of approximately 3 months (i.e. mid summer, yarding at autumn, mid winter and pre-slaughter) and group 2 steers received a further 36 mg zeranol at the second, third and fourth weighing. At the third weighing half the cattle in each of the treatment groups 1 and 2 received 300 mg trenbolone acetate. Also at the third weighing, group 3 (controls) were subdivided into three equal-weight groups, the first of which received 45 mg oestradiol-17.beta. and 300 mg trenbolone acetate and the second 36 mg zeranol and 300 mg trenbolone acetate. The third subgroup remained as untreated controls. From 10 farms a 25% sample close to group mean weight at mid winter were slaughtered on the same day and subjectively assessed for subcutaneous fat score and conformation on 15-point scales. The left thin flank was separated into tissues. Samples of lean fat, liver and kidney were analysed for zeranol residues. All implant treatments resulted in higher live-weight gain, heavier slaughter weights and earlier slaughter. Trenbolone increased daily gain only during the first 3 months after treatment. Implanted carcasses were heavier both in the fore- and hindquarter but trenbolone also produced heavier forequarters. Carcasses from treated steers had more subcutaneous fat, less perinephric and retroperitoneal fat and less intermuscular fat in the thin-flank joint. Zeranol residues in implanted steers were not significantly higher than controls except in the kidney, but even these were significantly below accepted tolerance levels.