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The bovine appeasing substance (BAS) is expected to have calming effects in cattle experiencing stressful situations. Therefore, this study investigated the impacts of BAS administration during two of the most stressful events within beef production systems: weaning and feedlot entry. In experiment 1, 186 Bos indicus-influenced calves (73 heifers, 113 bulls) were weaned at 211 ± 1 days of age (day 0). At weaning, calves were ranked by sex and BW, and assigned to receive BAS (Nutricorp, Araras, SP, Brazil; n = 94) or water (CON; n = 92). Treatments (5 ml) were topically applied to the nuchal skin area of each animal. Calf BW was recorded and samples of blood and tail-switch hair were collected on days 0, 15 and 45. Calves that received BAS had greater (P < 0.01) BW gain from day 0 to 15 compared with CON. Overall BW gain (days 0 to 45) and BW on days 15 and 45 were also greater (P ≤ 0.03) in BAS v. CON. Plasma haptoglobin concentration was less (P < 0.01) in BAS v. CON on day 15, whereas cortisol concentrations in plasma and tail-switch hair did not differ between treatments (P ≥ 0.13). In experiment 2, 140 B. indicus-influenced bulls (∼27 months of age) from 2 different pasture-based systems (70 bulls/origin) were transported to a commercial feedlot (≤ 200-km transport; day -1). On day 0, bulls were ranked by source and BW, and assigned to receive BAS (n = 70) or CON (n = 70) and the same sampling procedures as in experiment 1. Bulls receiving BAS had greater (P = 0.04) BW gain from day 0 to 15, but less (P < 0.01) BW gain from day 15 to 45 compared to CON. No other treatment effects were detected (P > 0.14). Therefore, BAS administration to beef calves alleviated the haptoglobin response associated with weaning, and improved calf growth during the subsequent 45 days. Administration of BAS to beef bulls at feedlot entry improved BW gain during the initial 15 days, but these benefits were not sustained throughout the 45-day experiment.
With increased regulations regarding the use of feed-grade antimicrobials in livestock systems, alternative strategies to enhance growth and immunity of feedlot cattle are warranted. Hence, this experiment compared performance, health and physiological responses of cattle supplemented with feed-grade antibiotics or alternative feed ingredients during the initial 60 days in the feedlot. Angus×Hereford calves (63 steers+42 heifers) originating from two cow–calf ranches were weaned on day −3, obtained from an auction yard on day −2 and road-transported (800 km; 12 h) to the feedlot. Upon arrival on day −1, shrunk BW was recorded. On day 0, calves were ranked by sex, source and shrunk BW, and allocated to one of 21 pens. Pens were assigned to receive (7 pens/treatment) a free-choice total mixed ration containing: (1) lasalocid (360 mg/calf daily of Bovatec; Zoetis, Florham Park, NJ, USA)+chlortetracycline (350 mg/calf of Aureomycin at cycles of 5-day inclusion and 2-day removal from diet; Zoetis) from days 0 to 32, and monensin only (360 mg/calf daily of Rumensin; Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, IN, USA) from days 33 to 60 (PC), (2) sodium saccharin-based sweetener (Sucram at 0.04 g/kg of diet dry matter; Pancosma SA; Geneva, Switzerland)+plant extracts containing eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and capsicum (800 mg/calf daily of XTRACT Ruminants 7065; Pancosma SA) from days 0 to 32 and XTRACT only (800 mg/calf daily) from days 33 to 60 (EG) or (3) no supplemental ingredients (CON; days 0 to 60). Calves were assessed for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) signs and dry matter intake was recorded from each pen daily. Calves were vaccinated against BRD pathogens on days 0 and 22. Shrunk BW was recorded on day 61, and blood samples collected on days 0, 6, 11, 22, 33, 43 and 60. Calf ADG was greater (P=0.04) in PC v. EG and tended (P=0.09) to be greater in PC v. CON. Feed efficiency also tended (P=0.09) to be greater in PC v. CON, although main treatment effect for this response was not significant (P=0.23). Mean serum titers against bovine respiratory syncytial virus were greater in EG v. PC (P=0.04) and CON (tendency; P=0.08). Collectively, the inclusion of alternative feed ingredients prevented the decrease in feed efficiency when chlortetracycline and ionophores were not added to the initial feedlot diet, and improved antibody response to vaccination against the bovine respiratory syncytial virus in newly weaned cattle.
This experiment evaluated the impacts of supplementing a yeast-derived product (Celmanax; Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA) on productive and health responses of beef steers, and was divided into a preconditioning (days 4 to 30) and feedlot receiving phase (days 31 to 69). In all, 84 Angus × Hereford steers were weaned on day 0 (BW=245±2 kg; age=186±2 days), and maintained in a single group from days 0 to 3. On day 4, steers were allocated according to weaning BW and age to a 21-pen drylot (4 steers/pen). Pens were randomly assigned to (n=7 pens/treatment): (1) no Celmanax supplementation during the study, (2) Celmanax supplementation (14 g/steer daily; as-fed) from days 14 to 69 or (3) Celmanax supplementation (14 g/steer daily; as-fed) from days 31 to 69. Steers had free-choice access to grass-alfalfa hay, and were also offered a corn-based concentrate beginning on day 14. Celmanax was mixed daily with the concentrate. On day 30, steers were road-transported for 1500 km (24 h). On day 31, steers returned to their original pens for the 38-day feedlot receiving. Shrunk BW was recorded on days 4, 31 and 70. Feed intake was evaluated daily (days 14 to 69). Steers were observed daily (days 4 to 69) for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) signs. Blood samples were collected on days 14, 30, 31, 33, 35, 40, 45, 54 and 69, and analyzed for plasma cortisol, haptoglobin, IGF-I, and serum fatty acids. Preconditioning results were analyzed by comparing pens that received (CELM) or not (CONPC) Celmanax during the preconditioning phase. Feedlot receiving results were analyzed by comparing pens that received Celmanax from days 14 to 69 (CELPREC), days 31 to 69 (CELRECV) or no Celmanax supplementation (CON). During preconditioning, BRD incidence was less (P=0.03) in CELM v. CONPC. During feedlot receiving, average daily gain (ADG) (P=0.07) and feed efficiency (P=0.08) tended to be greater in CELPREC and CELRECV v. CON, whereas dry matter intake was similar (P⩾0.29) among treatments. No other treatment effects were detected (P⩾0.20). Collectively, Celmanax supplementation reduced BRD incidence during the 30-day preconditioning. Moreover, supplementing Celmanax tended to improve ADG and feed efficiency during the 38-day feedlot receiving, independently of whether supplementation began during preconditioning or after feedlot entry. These results suggest that Celmanax supplementation benefits preconditioning health and feedlot receiving performance in beef cattle.
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