Effects of monensin on growth performance of beef heifers consuming warm-season perennial grass and supplemented with sugarcane molasses
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of monensin on performance of beef heifers fed warm-season forages. Brangus heifers (n = 24) were stratified by BW and BCS, and randomly assigned into 1 of 12 bahiagrass pastures (1.2 ha and 2 heifers/pasture). Heifers were offered 14 kg of sugarcane molasses and 3.5 kg of cottonseed meal weekly from day 0 to 84. Treatments were randomly assigned to pastures (6 pastures/treatment) and consisted of heifers supplemented with or without 200 mg/day of monensin. On d 85, heifers were allocated to individual drylot pens, provided free choice access to bermudagrass hay, and received their respective treatment for 10 d of adaptation and 11 d of data collection. Monensin did not impact (P ≥ 0.13) heifer BW, BCS, overall ADG, bahiagrass IVDOM, CP, herbage mass, and allowance. Supplement disappearance after 10 and 34 h of supplementation was greater for control vs. monensin heifers (P = 0.04) and tended to be greater for control vs. monensin heifers 24 h post-supplementation (P = 0.07). Plasma concentrations of glucose, IGF-1, and BUN (P ≥ 0.24) did not differ between treatments. From d 85 to 106, forage and total DM intake, in vivo DM digestibility, and heifer growth performance did not differ between treatments (P ≥ 0.12). Therefore, adding monensin to sugarcane molasses-based supplements decreased supplement consumption rate, but did not impact growth and blood parameters of heifers grazing warm-season grasses with limited nutritive value.
KeywordsBeef cattle Feed additives Monensin Self-fed Supplementation
Compliance with ethical standards
Animals were cared for in accordance with acceptable practices and experimental protocols reviewed and approved by the University of Florida Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (#201609664).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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