Two experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of ractopamine (RAC) and steroidal implant treatments on performance, carcass traits, blood metabolites, and lipogenic enzyme activity in feedlot cattle. In Exp. 1, yearling steers (n = 486; initial BW = 305 kg) were used in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement of RAC doses of 0 (R0), 100 (R100), or 200 (R200) mg·steer-1·d-1 fed for 28 d and implant regimens (implant-reimplant) of no implant-no reimplant (NI-NI), 120 mg of trenbolone acetate (TBA) and 24 mg of estradiol-17β (E17B)-no implant (RS-NI), or 80 mg of TBA and 16 mg of E17B followed by 120 mg of TBA and 24 mg of E17B (RI-RS). Except for KPH and skeletal maturity score, no RAC × implant interactions were noted (P > 0.10). Carcasses from R200 were 6.3 kg (P = 0.042) heavier than those from R0. Marbling, calculated empty body fat (EBF), and USDA quality grade did not differ (P > 0.10) among RAC treatments. The RI-RS steers had 12.6 kg (P = 0.001) and 41.1 kg (P < 0.001) greater HCW than RS-NI and NI-NI, respectively. Despite no difference (P > 0.10) in EBF, marbling score was decreased for RI-RS (P < 0.001) and RS-NI (P = 0.001) relative to NI-NI, resulting in 14.6 and 11.4 percentage unit fewer USDA Prime and Choice carcasses with RI-RS (P = 0.008) and RS-NI (P = 0.039) than with NI-NI. In Exp. 2, heifers (n = 48; initial BW = 347 kg) were used in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of RAC doses of 0 (R0) or 250 (R250) mg·heifer-1·d-1 and implant regimens of none (NI), 200 mg of TBA (TO), or 200 mg of TBA and 20 mg of E17B (TE). Blood samples were collected at various times during the feeding period, and subcutaneous adipose samples were collected on d 119. For growth and carcass measurements, no RAC × implant interactions (P > 0.10) were detected. The RAC-supplemented heifers had greater HCW (P < 0.10) with no difference in marbling score. For implant regimens, TE heifers had greater HCW than the NI (P = 0.001) and TO (P = 0.037) heifers. Although EBF did not differ among implant treatments (P > 0.10), TE (P = 0.021) and TO (P = 0.039) had fewer Choice carcasses than NI. Heifers with implants had decreased cortisol and increased IGF-1 and NEFA (P < 0.10) compared with NI heifers. An implant × RAC interaction was detected (P = 0.001) for serum urea nitrogen (SUN), with TE and RAC-supplemented heifers having decreased SUN. These data suggest that the effects of implant and RAC on growth and carcass traits are independent and that USDA quality grade and marbling score can differ significantly among carcasses with similar calculated EBF values.
- Beta-adrenergic agonist
- Body composition