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Journal of animal science

Manipulation of dietary calcium concentration to potentiate changes in tenderness of beef from heifers supplemented with zilpaterol hydrochloride.


PMID 26020219

Abstract

Dietary Ca concentrations were manipulated during supplementation of zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) to evaluate impact on feedlot performance, carcass characteristics, and beef tenderness using 96 heifers (BW 392 kg ± 3.2). We hypothesized that temporary depletion followed by repletion of dietary Ca before harvest would increase intracellular Ca concentrations, thus stimulating postmortem activity of Ca-dependent proteases to effect changes in tenderness. Heifers were stratified by initial BW and randomly assigned, within strata (block), to treatments consisting of a finishing diet in which Ca was added in the form of limestone (+Ca) or removed (-Ca) during ZH supplementation. Cattle were fed a common diet, including limestone, before ZH supplementation, and 28 d before slaughter, ZH was added to the diet with and without supplemental Ca. Calcium content of the diets during ZH supplementation was 0.74% or 0.19% (diet DM) for +Ca and -Ca, respectively. Zilpaterol hydrochloride was fed for 25 d then removed from the diet 3 d before harvest. The final 3 d before harvest, all cattle were fed Ca at 0.74% of diet DM. Heifers were housed in concrete-surfaced pens with 8 animals/pen (6 pens/treatment). At the end of the finishing phase, animals were weighed and transported to an abattoir in Holcomb, KS. Severity of liver abscesses and HCW were collected the day of harvest, and after 48 h of refrigeration, USDA yield and quality grades, KPH, LM area, and 12th-rib subcutaneous fat thickness were determined. Boneless loin sections were also collected for Warner-Bratzler shear force determination. Removal of Ca did not affect Warner-Bratzler shear force values (P = 0.64). In addition, ADG, DMI, final BW, and feed efficiency were unaffected by treatment (P > 0.05). Carcass measurements also were unaffected by the temporary decrease in dietary Ca (P > 0.05). In conclusion, temporary depletion of dietary Ca during ZH supplementation did not alter beef tenderness, live animal performance, or carcass measurements.

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