Effects of prenatal testosterone treatment and postnatal steroid implantation on growth performance and carcass traits of heifers and steers.

K. C. DeHaan, L. L. Berger, D. J. Kesler, F. K. McKeith, D. B. Faulkner, G. F. Cmarik, R. J. Favero

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of prenatal testosterone treatment in combination with postnatal steroid implantation (Exp. 1) and to assess the effect of time of prenatal testosterone treatment in conjunction with postnatal steroid implantation (Exp. 2) on animal performance and carcass characteristics. In Exp. 1, seventy-six pregnant cows were assigned randomly to a control group or implanted with testosterone propionate (TP) silastic implants between d 40 and 80 of gestation. Half the heifer calves were selected randomly to be implanted with 200 mg TP plus 20 mg estradiol benzoate (EB); the other half of the steer calves were implanted with 200 mg progesterone plus 20 mg EB on d 1 and 85 of the feedlot trial. Daily gain of heifers was increased 10.4% (P less than .08) due to prenatal testosterone treatment (P) and 16.4% (P less than .05) by postnatal steroid implantation (I). Feed efficiency was 12.9% greater (P less than .05) due to P and 9.5% greater (P less than .05) due to I. Prenatal testosterone treatment decreased (P less than .05) kidney, pelvic and heart fat and final yield grade but increased (P less than .05) ribeye area of heifers. Heifers had greater (P less than .07) liver weights per unit of carcass weight due to P. In Exp. 2, one hundred seventy-four pregnant cows were assigned randomly to a control group or implanted with TP silastic implants on d 42, 63, 84 or 105 of gestation. Half the heifer and steer calves were selected randomly to be implanted on d 1 and 112 of the feedlot trial. Time of P caused a quadratic effect (P less than .08) on birth weight of heifers. There was a quadratic effect (P less than .05) of time of P on daily gain and final weight per day of age of heifers. Feed efficiency of heifers was improved (P less than .05) due to P. Postnatal steroid implantation increased (P less than .05) daily gain and feed efficiency of heifers by 9.6% and 8.6%, respectively. No changes were observed in growth performance of steers due to P. Results from these two trials suggest that the combination of prenatal testosterone treatment and postnatal testosterone and estradiol implantation produced an additive improvement of daily gain, feed efficiency and carcass merit of heifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2198-2207
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume68
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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