|Institution:||University of South Africa|
|Keywords:||Beta- adrenergic agonist; Zilmax; Beef cattle; Carcass characteristics; Growth performance|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/10500/15368|
An experiment was conducted using forty-one Bonsmara steers (age ± 7 months) to determine the effect of zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) on the growth performance and carcass characteristics. The trial was structured using a completely randomized design with two treatments, control and ZH group. The steers were fed ZH for 28 consecutive days at the end of the finishing period and ZH was withdrawn from the diet 2 days prior to slaughter of the animals. The steers were placed in individual pens and weighed fortnightly throughout the 4 months trial. Zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) was included in the diet at a rate of 8.3 mg/kg of DM. Feeding of ZH increased (P< 0.05) body weight (BW) gain and ADG (1.102 vs. 1.444) and tended to increase (P = 0.067) feed efficiency (F:G) during the last month of the finishing period. There were no significant differences (P> 0.05) in daily dry matter intakes (DMI). For the control group, high treatment weight gains were significantly associated with high initial weight (r = 0.424, P = 0.049) and also high pre-treatment body weight (r = 0.678, P= 0.001). Treatment weight gain increased as the initial and pre-treatment weight gain increased in the control group. For the steers that were fed ZH, there was no significant correlation between the treatment body weight gain with initial weight (r = 0.097, P = 0.694) and also pre- treatment live weight (r = 0.393, P = 0.096). Supplementation of ZH significantly increased (P < 0.0001) the dressing percentage (56.4% vs. 58.4%) and had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the carcass weight. The outcome of the study suggest that supplementation of ZH in the diet during the last month of the finishing period enhances growth performance and shows the repartitioning capacity of the feed additive as a beta- agonist.