Status of Current Strategies for Growth Regulation

  • D. H. Beermann


Strategies for the regulation of animal growth have evolved over the last several decades to serve two primary purposes: (1) to increase the efficiency and total amount of meat and milk production, and (2) to improve the nutrient composition of meat animals. The first objective has been pursued with success for over 50 years, providing us with such historical developments as genetic selection for increased rate of gain and improved feed conversion, the use of a large-mature-size breed of sire, the use of nonprotein nitrogen in ruminant diets, the discovery of the growth-promoting effects of antibiotics, antibacterial, and antiparasitic drugs, and more recently the use of the ionophores or rumen modifiers, anabolic and xenobiotic agents. Genetics will probably always be an important aspect of meat animal growth performance, recognizing the value of a diverse gene pool to provide the combination of traits best suited to specific environmental circumstances or specific production requirements. Genetic manipulation now appears to provide great promise for many of the animal science disciplines involved with improving animal performance.


Growth Hormone Growth Performance Anabolic Steroid Feed Efficiency Average Daily Gain 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. H. Beermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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