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The effect of oestradiol-17 β implantation on the response in voluntary intake, live-weight gain and body composition, to fishmeal supplementation of silage offered to growing calves

  • Margaret Gill (a1), D. E. Beever (a1), P. J. Buttery (a1), P. England (a1), M. J. Gibb (a1) and R. D. Baker (a1)...

Summary

The effect of oestradiol-17β on the response to fishmeal supplementation of grass silage was studied in young growing cattle. Voluntary intake and live-weight gain were recorded over 63 days with 36 British Friesian male castrates (initial live weight (LW) 119 kg) offered silage alone (C) or with 50 (FM1), 100 (FM2), or 150 (FM3) g fishmeal/kg silage dry matter. Twelve calves were allocated to each of treatments C and FM3 and six to treatments FM1 and FM2. Half of the calves on each treatment were ear-implanted with oestradiol-17β (Compudose 365) at the start of the experiment. The calves on treatments C and FM3 were slaughtered after 75 days and chemical analysis conducted on half of each carcass. The silage had an organic-matter digestibility in vivo of 0·794 and was well-fermented, with a pH of 3·7. Intake averaged 24·2±0·42 g D.M./kg LW over all the treatments and live-weight gain was 0·77 kg/day on the silage alone. There was a significant (P < 0·05) interaction between fishmeal and oestradiol-17β, such that response to the hormone was observed only in the presence of fishmeal at 100 or 150 g/kg silage D.M. A similar interaction was apparent between fishmeal at 150 g/kg silage D.M. and oestradiol-17β in the final weights of empty body and carcass. This level of fishmeal also increased protein gain from 96 to 147 g/day and this was further increased to 179 g/day in the implanted animals receiving fishmeal. However, the overall effect of oestradiol-17β on protein gain was not significant. Gross efficiency of energy utilization was significantly (P < 0·01) increased by fishmeal supplementation suggesting an improved balance of nutrients compared with the silage alone diet.

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The effect of oestradiol-17 β implantation on the response in voluntary intake, live-weight gain and body composition, to fishmeal supplementation of silage offered to growing calves

  • Margaret Gill (a1), D. E. Beever (a1), P. J. Buttery (a1), P. England (a1), M. J. Gibb (a1) and R. D. Baker (a1)...

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