By: John Maday, editor of Bovine Veterinarian
In a study reported in the December issue of the Journal of Animal Science, researchers from the University of Nebraska and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center compared welfare factors and animal performance between cattle fed or not fed the beta agonist zilpaterol hydrochloride during the final 21 days of finishing. The study also compared the effects of shaded versus non-shaded pens on treated and control cattle.
The researchers monitored a group of 480 steers, 22 percent with black hides and 78 percent with red hides. They used a randomized block design with a 2 × 2 factorial treatment arrangement with four replicates per treatment, and measured performance, carcass quality, heat stress, mobility and body temperature.
Variables in the study included open versus shaded pens and feeding versus not feeding zilpaterol during the last 21 days on feed with a three-day withdrawal.
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