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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2019 May;32(5):657-664. doi: 10.5713/ajas.18.0621. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Effects of ambient temperature and rumen-protected fat supplementation on growth performance, rumen fermentation and blood parameters during cold season in Korean cattle steers.

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Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
Institute of Green Bio Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang 25354, Korea.



This study was performed to evaluate whether cold ambient temperature and dietary rumen-protected fat (RPF) supplementation affect growth performance, rumen fermentation, and blood parameters in Korean cattle steers.


Twenty Korean cattle steers (body weight [BW], 550.6±9.14 kg; age, 19.7±0.13 months) were divided into a conventional control diet group (n = 10) and a 0.5% RPF supplementation group (n = 10). Steers were fed a concentrate diet (1.6% BW) and a rice straw diet (1 kg/d) for 16 weeks (January 9 to February 5 [P1], February 6 to March 5 [P2], March 6 to April 3 [P3], and April 4 to May 2 [P4]).


The mean and minimum indoor ambient temperatures in P1 (-3.44°C, -9.40°C) were lower (p<0.001) than those in P3 (5.87°C, -1.86°C) and P4 (11.18°C, 4.28°C). The minimum temperature in P1 fell within the moderate cold-stress (CS) category, as previously reported for dairy cattle, and the minimum temperatures of P2 and P3 were within the mild CS category. Neither month nor RPF supplementation affected the average daily gain or gain-to-feed ratio (p>0.05). Ruminal ammonia nitrogen concentrations were higher (p<0.05) in cold winter than spring. Plasma cortisol concentrations were lower (p<0.05) in the coldest month than in the other months. Serum glucose concentrations were generally higher in colder months than in the other months but were unaffected by RPF supplementation. RPF supplementation increased both total cholesterol (p = 0.004) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations (p = 0.03).


Korean cattle may not be significantly affected by moderate CS, considering that the growth performance of cattle remained unchanged, although variations in blood parameters were observed among the studied months. RPF supplementation altered cholesterol and HDL concentrations but did not affect growth performance.


Ambient Temperature; Beef Cattle; Blood Metabolites; Cold Stress; Growth; Rumen-protected Fat

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