Growth, Reproductive Performance, Mammary Development, and Milk Production of Beef Heifers as Influenced by Prepubertal Dietary Energy and Administration of Bovine Somatotropin

D. D. Buskirk, D. B. Faulkner, W. L. Hurley, D. J. Kesler, F. A. Ireland, T. G. Nash, J. C. Castree, J. L. Vicin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three trials with 156 crossbred heifers were used to determine the effects of dietary energy and bovine somatotropin administration on subsequent heifer productivity. In Trial 1, heifer calves were weaned from their dams (n = 28; 113 ± 13 d of age) and assigned to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of moderate (MDE) or high dietary energy (HDE) and injections of vehicle (VEH) or 250 mg of bovine somatotropin (bST) every 14 d. Heifer calves in Trial 2 (n = 28; 123 ± 20 d of age) and Trial 3 (n = 100; 134 ± 22 d of age) nursed their dams while grazing pasture and received no creep feed (MDE) or ad libitum access to creep feed (HDE) and received VEH or bST as in Trial 1. Treatments were administered for 112 d and heifers within trial were managed alike after that time. There were no dietary treatment × bST treatment interactions for any of the variables analyzed (P > .05). Dietary energy did not affect daily gain in Trial 1; however, heifers receiving HDE in Trials 2 and 3 had greater weight, hip height growth, and fat thickness (P < .01) by the end of the treatment period. Treatment with bST increased gain in Trials 1 and 2 (P < .01) but did not affect growth in Trial 3. There were trends in all trials for HDE to reduce age at puberty (P < .15), but there were no consistent effects of bST on reproductive measures. Mammary gland composition and milk production were unaffected by treatment in Trial 1. In Trial 2, HDE decreased subsequent milk production, calf weaning weight, and mammary dry fat free tissue and DNA (P < .05). Treatment with bST in Trial 3 tended (P = .08) to result in greater milk production and increased calf weaning weights (P < .05). We conclude that bST treatment may enhance growth with no effect on reproduction. Treatment with bST did not overcome deleterious effects of HDE on milk production but may play an important role in mammogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2649-2662
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume74
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor
  • Lactation
  • Mammary Tissue
  • Supplemental Feed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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