Comparison between zilpaterol hydrochloride and R-salbutamol fed during the finishing period on the growth and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle

Author: E.C. Webb, C. Stock & S.D. Morris
Year: 2023
Issue: 5
Volume: 53
Page: 615 - 625

This study aimed to compare the effects of feeding 60 mg of the β-adrenergic agonist, zilpaterol HCl (Zilmax®), per steer per day versus feeding 120 mg of the β-adrenergic agonist, R-salbutamol (Salbutamate®10%), per steer per day for the last 30 days of the finishing period on the growth, efficiency, and carcass characteristics of 228 typical South African feedlot steers in a completely randomised control study. The steers were slaughtered at the same abattoir after a 3-day withdrawal period. The growth and feedlot parameters included starting mass, slaughter mass, average daily gain, live mass gain, and lean carcass gain. The carcass characteristics included warm (WCW) and cold carcass mass (CCW), carcass length (CL), subcutaneous fat thickness measured over the 13th rib (SCF), dressing percentage, carcass compactness, carcass classification score, age code, and fat code using the South African carcass classification system. The inclusion of zilpaterol HCl as a feed additive resulted in higher growth and efficiency, with an ADG of 1.3 kg/day (P <0.05) in steers fed zilpaterol HCl compared to 1.1 kg/day for steers fed R-salbutamol. Steers in the zilpaterol HCl experimental group had a 12.5 kg higher average slaughter mass, yielding ~3 kg higher calculated lean gain than steers fed R-salbutamol. Steers fed zilpaterol HCl yielded better carcass characteristics of 11.4 kg higher CCW and marginally longer carcasses compared to steers fed R-salbutamol. Therefore, the overall growth, feedlot performance, and carcass characteristics were higher in the zilpaterol HCl-fed steers than in R-salbutamol-fed steers.

Keywords: : Growth, Average daily gain, carcass characteristics, Feed additive, lean gain, β-adrenergic agonist
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