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(searched for: doi:10.1017/s135772980004251x)
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Published: 19 October 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of production system on the health, performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of autumn born (AB) and spring born (SB) Holstein bulls. The study involved a total of 224 Holstein bulls and was conducted over two years (2017/18, 2018/19). The four production system treatments differed during the grower period and consisted of: (i) grazed with no concentrate supplementation (G), (ii) grazed with 2 kg concentrate supplementation per day (G2), (iii) grazed with ad libitum access to concentrates (GA) and (iv) housed with ad libitum access to concentrates and grass silage (HA). All bulls were finished on ad libitum concentrates and grass silage and were slaughtered at a mean age of 15.5 months. Total grower dry matter intake (DMI) (p < 0.001) and total finishing DMI (p < 0.001) differed between production systems for both AB and SB bulls, with that of GA bulls being the greatest in both cases. Average daily gain (ADG) during the grower period was greatest (p < 0.001) for the HA production system in the AB bulls and the GA and HA production systems for the SB bulls. However, during the finishing period, G bulls had the greatest (p < 0.001) ADG of the AB bulls, while that of the SB bulls was from the G2 production system (p < 0.001). For both AB and SB, bulls on the GA and HA production systems produced heavier cold carcass weights than the G and G2 bulls (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in health, carcass conformation, fat classification, or meat quality between production systems.
, , H. R. Andersen, K. Søegaard, A. L. Nielsen
Published: 1 April 2006
Animal Science, Volume 82, pp 201-211; https://doi.org/10.1079/asc200520

Abstract:
Production and endoparasitism of first grazing season Holstein heifers and steers were investigated over two grazing seasons. Studies were conducted on low-lying peaty soil. In year 2000, 40 animals were included in a 2×2 factorial, replicated experiment with two sexes (steers v. heifers) and two stocking rates (SR): normal v. low (840 v. 420 kg live weight per ha at turn-out) in a set stocking grazing system. Mean grass heights over the entire season were 6·3±4·8 cm (mean±s.d.) at normal SR and 9·8±6·1 cm at low SR. Mean daily live-weight gain during grazing was significantly (P<0·001) lower at normal SR (256±147 g) compared with low (468±142 g) but sex did not significantly affect the daily gain. Serum pepsinogen levels, indicating uptake of gastric nematodes, were higher at normal SR and consistently higher in steers compared with heifers, although not significantly. In 2001 the experiment included 80 animals in a 2×2 factorial experiment with two sexes (steers v. heifers), two grazing systems (set stocking and two-paddock rotation) and four replicates. Pasture quality was low, 570 g digestible organic matter per kg organic matter and 139 g crude protein per kg dry matter on average, independent of grazing system. Mean daily live-weight gain was not significantly affected by grazing system. A tendency (P=0·07) to lower daily gain for the heifers than for steers was observed (427±161 g v. 474±138 g). Lower levels of pasture contamination with parasites were observed in the paddocks without grazing up to mid July but otherwise rotation did not prevent parasite infections. It is concluded that first grazing season steers and heifers have the same potential for growth when grazing marginal areas with low pasture quality. Set stocking or the two-paddock rotation scheme did not affect productivity or level of parasite infection at the end of season. Parasite infections became a problem at high SR. SR is an important factor for both daily live-weight gain per animal and total production per ha. However, due to the very heterogeneous structure of marginal areas there is a need for other indicators than kg live weight per ha at turn-out in order to define a clear relationship between stocking rate and production.
J. J. Hyslop, R. Keatinge, D. G. Chapple
Published: 1 February 2006
Animal Science, Volume 82, pp 117-124; https://doi.org/10.1079/asc20054

Abstract:
A bull beef finishing experiment was conducted with the objective of comparing physical performance of constrasting genotypes of suckler-bred bull beef animals finished intensively on a cereal-based diet at approximately 12 to 13 months of age. Nine bulls per genotype were drawn from weaned, bull calves born to one of two dam types (Belgian Blue×Holstein/Friesian (BB) or Simmental×Holstein/Friesian (SIM)) and which had been sired by one of two contrasting sire types (Aberdeen Angus (AA) or Charolais (CH)). Bull calves were weaned at approximately 8 months of age and the finishing experiment ran from approximately 9 months of age until slaughter at 12 to 13 months of age. Cereal-based concentrate diets were offered to all bulls on an ad libitum basis throughout the experimental finishing period. Dry matter intake (DMI), live-weight gain (LWG), food conversion ratio (FCR), and carcass slaughter characteristics were quantified.Average daily LWG was 2·07, 2·11, 2·34 and 2·65 kg/day, average FCR was 5·14, 5·06, 4·70 and 4·12 kg DMI per kg LWG and average age at slaughter was 387, 381, 374 and 366 days for the AA/BB, AA/SIM, CH/BB and CH/SIM bulls respectively. These figures showed that CH sired bulls grew faster ( P<0·001), finished at an earlier age ( P<0·01) and had better food conversion ratios ( P<0·01) than AA sired bulls. CH sired bulls also produced heavier carcasses (P<0·001) with better conformation ( P<0·001) than AA sired bulls. Average cold carcass weights (CCW) at slaughter were 309, 318, 348 and 365 kg and average conformation scores (15-point scale) at slaughter were 9·28, 10·28, 12·39 and 12·75 for the AA/BB, AA/SIM, CH/BB and CH/SIM bulls respectively. Finished bulls from SIM dams had higher LWGs (P<0·01) and produced heavier carcasses (P<0·05) than bulls from BB dams. No statistically significant differences in fat score (15-point scale) were seen between any of the breed combinations with fat scores of 7·50, 7·25, 6·75 and 6·75 for the AA/BB, AA/SIM, CH/BB and CH/SIM bulls respectively. No significant differences in average daily food intake were observed between breed combinations in the experiment with average daily DMI being 10·6, 10·6, 11·0 and 10·9 kg/day for AA/BB, AA/SIM, CH/BB and CH/SIM bulls respectively.Overall, there was little evidence to suggest that the rate of bull LWG declined to bring about any meaningful reduction in productivity as average bull live weight increased from approximately 9 months of age until slaughter at 12 to 13 months of age. When finished on a nutrient-rich, cereal-based concentrate diet, excellent animal performance and commercially acceptable carcasses can be produced from the UK suckler herd using genetically superior sires of either traditional UK or continental beef cattle breeds. Results from this study indicate that CH sired bulls out-performed AA sired bulls, especially when produced from SIM cows.
P. French, E. G. O’Riordan, P. O’Kiely, P. J. Caffrey, A. P. Moloney
Published: 1 February 2001
Animal Science, Volume 72, pp 129-138; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1357729800055624

Abstract:
The aim of this experiment was to quantify the relationship between autumn grass supply and concentrate supplementation level on grass intake and animal performance. One hundred and ten continental steers (567 kg) were assigned to 10 treatments. The experimental design was a three grass allowances (6, 12 and 18 kg dry matter (DM) per head daily) by three concentrate levels: (0, 2·5 and 5 kg per head daily) factorial with a positive control group offered concentrates ad libitum and no grass. Grass allowance was offered daily and concentrates were given individually. The experiment began on 22 August and all animals were slaughtered after a mean experimental period of 95 days. Grass intake was calculated using the n-alkane technique and diet digestibility using ytterbium acetate as an indigestible marker. There was an interaction (P< 0·05) between grass allowance and concentrate level for grass intake. At the low grass allowance there was no effect of offering animals supplementary concentrates on grass intake, at the medium and high grass allowances, supplementary concentrates reduced grass intake by 0·43 and 0·81 kg DM respectively per kg DM concentrate offered. Increasing grass allowance increased (P< 0·001) complete diet organic matter (OM) digestibility at all concentrate levels and supplementary concentrates increased (P< 0·001) complete diet OM digestibility only at the low grass allowance. Both offering animals supplementary concentrates (P< 0·001) and increasing daily grass allowance (P< 0·001) increased their carcass growth rate. Relative to the animals offered the low grass allowance and no concentrate, supplementing with concentrate increased carcass growth by 116 g/kg concentrate DM eaten whereas increasing the grass allowance, increased carcass growth by 38 g/kg DM grass eaten. As a strategy for increasing the performance of cattle grazing autumn grass, offering supplementary concentrates offers more scope than altering grass allowance.
, P. Raskin, A. Clinquart, I. Dufrasne, C. van Eenaeme, L. Istasse
Published: 1 October 1998
Animal Science, Volume 67, pp 427-434; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1357729800032835

Abstract:
A comparison was made between fattening systems with Belgian Blue bulls of the double-muscle type, in order to assess the reponse in terms of compensatory growth when the bulls were grazed at a high stocking rate. Two groups of eight bulls were grazed on Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens pasture during an initial period of 135 days (period I). One group grazed at a stocking rate of six animals per ha allowing for normal growth at pasture (NGP); the other group grazed at stocking rate of 10 animals per ha (low growth at pasture, LGP). Both groups were then finished indoors (period II) with a concentrate based on dried sugar-beet pulp. Eight control bulls were also fattened indoors on the concentrate diet during periods I and II (CG). The bulls were slaughtered according to similar finishing fattening state. Live-weight gains were 1·47, 1·10 and 0·52 kg/day (P< 0·002) during period I in CG, NGP and LGP groups respectively. Corresponding live-weight gains during period II were 1·22, 1·37 and 1·50 kg/day (P > 0·05). The LGP group had lower food conversion ratios, slaughter weights (P< 0·05) and dressing proportions (P< 0·01). The meat from the grazed bulls had lower cooking losses (P< 0·05) and tended to have lower drip losses (P > 0·05) and higher tenderness (P > 0·05). It also had a higher cholesterol (P< 0·05) content. Large differences were observed in the fatty acid composition according to fat location (subcutaneous, intermuscular or intramuscular). The proportions of mono and polyunsaturated acids were increased in the fats of the animals previously grazed (P > 0·05, P< 0·05).
R. W. J. Steen, D. J. Kilpatrick
Published: 1 February 1998
Animal Science, Volume 66, pp 129-141; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1357729800008900

Abstract:
A 3-year experiment has been carried out to compare systems of bull beef production involving pasture grazing and continuous storage feeding and to examine the effects of sward surface height and concentrate input from 5·5 to 11 months of age on grazing behaviour, growth rate and body composition at the end of the treatment period and on subsequent growth rate and carcass composition at commercial slaughter weight. Animals were either set-stocked at pasture to maintain sward surface heights of 6·5 and 10·0 cm or were given grass silage (725 g digestible organic matter per kg dry matter (DM)) supplemented with 0·8, 1·6, 2·4, 3·2 and 4·0 kg cereal-based concentrates (188 g crude protein per kg DM) per head daily. Half of the animals grazed at each sward height were given 1 -6 kg concentrates per head daily while the remainder received no supplement. A total of 255 continental beef breed × Friesian calves which were initially 198 kg live weight were used. From 11 months of age until slaughter at a mean live weight of 620 kg all animals were given grass silage supplemented with 3 kg cereal-based concentrate DM per head daily.Reducing sward surface height from 10·0 to 6·5 cm increased the proportion of time spent grazing (P< 0·001), reduced the proportion of time involved in other activities and reduced live-weight gain (P< 0·001) from 1·21 to 0·84 kg/day. Offering concentrates at pasture reduced (P< 0·001) the proportion of time spent grazing (the effect being greater with the animals grazing the shorter swards) but did not affect the performance of the animals grazing the taller swards and produced only a modest increase in the live-weight gain (70 g/kg concentrates) of those grazing the shorter swards. At the end of the treatment period, the carcasses of the animals which had been given silage contained proportionally 0·39 more lipid than those of animals which had been at pasture and had the same growth rate. Differences in live weight at 11 months of age due to differences in feeding from 5·5 to 11 months were largely retained until the end of a 7-month period of realimentation while differences in carcass composition at II months were eliminated by slaughter at a constant live weight of 622 kg.
B. G. Lowman, C. E. Hinks, E. A. Hunter, N. A. Scott
Published: 1 October 1996
Animal Science, Volume 63, pp 215-222; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1357729800014764

Abstract:
In a lifetime study of spring born cattle managed in a 20-month beef system, four feeding treatments were imposed during the 5-month winter period and two grass heights (low 6 to 8 cm, high 8 to 10 cm) during the subsequent grazing period. Three slaughter weights were imposed over the grazing period, early, mid and late, at an average of 67,110 and 154 days post turn-out. A multi-factorial design was used with three animal factors — maturity (early maturing Hereford crosses v. late maturing Charolais crosses), sex (heifer v. steer) and method of rearing (suckled calves v. bucket-reared calves). There were significant differences in growth rate for both sex and maturity (P < 0·001) and a highly significant negative effect of winter food level on summer growth rate (P < 0·001), the growth rate of food treatment 4 being proportionately 0·61 of that treatment 1.Sward height significantly influenced summer growth rate (P < 0·001) but showed no interaction with winter food level in any of the three grazing periods. Growth rates increased over the summer but differences between winter food treatments decreased with daily gains for food treatment 4 being proportionately 0·44, 0·81 and 0·84 of food treatment 1 as the grazing season progressed.Eliminating winter feeding treatment as a factor and including condition score at turn-out as a co-variate improved the variation explained and reduced differences in growth rate for the main effects with only the main effect of grass height remaining significant. This suggests that the condition of animals at turn-out in conjunction with the subsequent grazing sward height provides a simple practical guide to subsequent animal performance.
I. Dufrasne, M. Gielen, P. Limbourg, C. van Eenaeme, L. Istasse
Published: 1 February 1995
Animal Science, Volume 60, pp 75-80; https://doi.org/10.1017/s1357729800008158

Abstract:
A comparison was made between two different finishing systems with Belgian Blue bulls. Two groups of bulls were grazed during an initial 140-day period and then finished indoors with concentrates. There were two stocking rates during the grazing period: a medium at six bulls per ha (MGFI) and a high at eight bulls per ha (HGFI). A third group of bulls was finished indoors on a concentrate diet during the whole finishing period (FI). The experiment was repeated over 2 years consecutively. The pasture which was grazed at the medium stocking rate was characterized by a higher sward height (P< 0·01), more refusals (P< 0·001), less Lolium perenne (P< 0·05) and more Trifolium repens (P<0·05) than that grazed at eight bulls per ha. The live-weight gain was 1·15 kg/day during the grazing period for the MGFI bulls and 1·00 kg/day when they were taken indoors. The increase in stocking rate reduced the gain at grass (1·00 kg/day, P< 0·001) and improved the gain indoors (1·24 v. 1·01 kg/day, P< 0·001). In the groups which were initially grazed when compared with the indoor system, the fattening period was longer (236·0 and 241·0 v. 186·9 days, P<0·01) and the live-weight gain lower (1·11 and 1·10 v. 1·44 kg/day, P< 0·001 for MGFI, HGFI and Fl respectively). The dressing proportion was greater also (P< 0·05), and there were higher concentrations of muscles (P< 0·05) and bones (P< 0·05) in the carcass of the bulls which were grazed initially. With these bulls, the lean meat was darker (P<0·05) and lost more water although there were no effects on the myoglobin content or on shear force. The net profit was in favour of the groups which were grazed.
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