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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

1
Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA, Wanju 55365, Korea.
2
Department of Food Science and Technology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

KEYWORDS:

Calf; Early Weaning; Rumen Development; Starch; Ultrasound

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