Send to

Choose Destination
Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2017 Oct;30(10):1425-1434. doi: 10.5713/ajas.17.0315. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Early weaning of calves after different dietary regimens affects later rumen development, growth, and carcass traits in Hanwoo cattle.

Author information

Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA, Wanju 55365, Korea.
Department of Food Science and Technology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea.



The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of different diets for early-weaned (EW) calves on rumen development, and how this affects fat deposition in the longissimus dorsi of adult Korean Hanwoo beef cattle.


Three EW groups were established (each n = 12) in which two- week-old Hanwoo calves were fed for ten weeks with milk replacer+concentrate (T1), milk replacer+concentrate+ roughage (T2), or milk replacer+concentrate+30% starch (T3); a control group (n = 12) was weaned as normal. At six months, 5 calves of each group were slaughtered and their organs were assessed and rumen papillae growth rates were measured. The remaining calves (n = 7 in each group) were raised to 20 months for further analysis.


Twenty-month-old EW calves had a higher body weight (BW), backfat thickness (BF), longissimus dorsi muscle area (LMA) and intramuscular fat (IMF) than the control (p<0.05). Organ growth, rumen histology, and gene expression patterns in the 6-month-old calves were positively related to the development of marbling in the loin, as assessed by ultrasound analysis (p<0.05). In the group fed the starch-enriched diet (T3), higher BW, BF, LMA, and IMF were present. The IMF beef quality score of 20-month-old cattle was 1+ for the T2 and T3 diets and 1 for the T1 diet (p<0.05).


Papillae development was significantly greater in calves fed on high-concentrate diets and this may have resulted in the improved beef quality in the EW dietary groups compared to the control.


Calf; Early Weaning; Rumen Development; Starch; Ultrasound

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center