Researchers at West Texas A&M University conducted a trial to evaluate the effects of feeding a beta agonist to cull cows prior to slaughter. These products are commonly used in finishing steers and heifers to improve gains, carcass weights and lean-meat yields during the weeks prior to slaughter. The researchers fed 320 cows, 2 to 10 years old, for 75 to 110 days, adding Zilmax (Zilpaterol hydrochloride) to half of the cows for 20 days prior to a four-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period. Over the last 24 days, average daily gains and feed efficiency were significantly higher in the Zilmax group. The Zilmax-fed cows also had significantly higher slaughter weights, carcass weights, dressing percentages and ribeye areas, and lower marbling scores. Total saleable yield was $879 for Zilmax-fed cows and $804 for controls. The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Animal Science.
Profit Tips: Cattle feeding - Beta agonist for cull cows
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