The influence of supplemental Zn-amino acid complex and ractopamine hydrochloride feeding duration on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing beef cattle.

Journal of animal science

PubMedID: 27898862

Genther-Schroeder ON, Branine ME, Hansen SL. The influence of supplemental Zn-amino acid complex and ractopamine hydrochloride feeding duration on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing beef cattle. J Anim Sci. 2016;94(10):4338-4345.
Previous research indicates that finishing steer ADG and G:F increases linearly with increasing dietary Zn-amino acid complex (ZnAA) supplementation in cattle fed ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC). The objective of this study was to determine the influence of supplemental Zn-amino acid complex on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing steers fed RAC for 0, 28, or 42 d prior to harvest. This study was organized as 2 groups (GRP) of steers fed concurrently, for 91 (GRP 1) or 84 d (GRP 2). A total of 324 steers (463 ± 23. 4 kg) were fed a corn-based finishing diet supplemented with 60 mg Zn/kg diet DM (as ZnSO). Steers were blocked by weight to pens of 6 steers, and assigned to receive either 0 (CON) or 60 mg supplemental Zn/kg DM from ZnAA ( = 27 pens per treatment). Receiving ZnAA for 49 (GRP 1) or 42 d (GRP 2) prior to start of RAC feeding had no impact on growth of steers = 0. 19). Forty-two d prior to harvest, pens were equally assigned within CON or ZnAA treatments to receive RAC at 300 mg·steer·d for 0 (NoRAC), 28 (28RAC), or 42 d (42RAC) prior to harvest, creating 6 final treatments ( = 9 pens per treatment). All steers within a GRP were harvested on the same day. Pen was the experimental unit, and the statistical model included the fixed effects of ZnAA, RAC, and block nested within GRP, and the random effect of pen. Ractopamine hydrochloride supplementation increased carcass-adjusted ADG, final BW, HCW, and ribeye area ( = 0. 007). There was an effect of ZnAA within 28RAC and 42RAC where carcass-adjusted ADG ( = 0. 10), and final BW and HCW ( = 0. 05) were greater in ZnAA supplemented vs. CON steers, and 28RAC steers supplemented with ZnAA had improved overall carcass-adjusted G:F relative to CON steers ( = 0. 04). However, when steers did not receive RAC there was no effect of ZnAA on final BW, ADG, or HCW ( = 0. 78). Additionally, ZnAA supplementation had no effect on the difference in performance between steers supplemented with RAC for 28 vs. 42 d ( 0. 21). In conclusion, under the conditions of this study supplemental ZnAA did not prevent the diminished response to RAC as days on RAC increased from 28 to 42. However, there appears to be a synergistic effect of ZnAA on RAC-induced cattle growth, as supplementing 60 mg Zn/kg DM from ZnAA to cattle fed RAC improved overall growth and HCW.