Monensin increases propionic acid production in the rumen and improves the efficiency of feed conversion in fattening cattle. Trials carried out in the USA showed that 200 mg monensin/head per day was the optimum dose for increasing the rate of live-weight gain in beef cattle at pasture.
Twelve pasture trials, involving a total of 434 beef cattle, were carried out during 1976 and 1977 to assess the efficacy of monensin for grazing cattle under European conditions. Each trial compared a group given 200 mg monensin/head per day in 0·5 to 10 kg of carrier supplement with a negative control group, fed blank supplement. The average initial live-weight was 260 kg and the average trial duration was 119 days. Daily live-weight gains of the control and monensin-treated cattle averaged 0·786 and 0·893 kg/head per day respectively, an advantage of 107g/head per day or 13·7 % in favour of the monensin treatment (P<0·001). The growth-promoting effect of monensin showed no tendency to diminish with time.