Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm

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The effect of MGA in mixed pens of steers and heifers was evaluated over a three-year period at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis, Iowa. Two pens of approximately 40 head were fed diets with or without MGA in each of three replications. Estrus and riding activity was monitored using the Heat Watch system. At slaughter, in addition to routine carcass data collection, a rib sample was collected from each carcass for tenderness evaluation. There was no effect on dry matter intake due to MGA treatment. Mixed-sex pens that were fed MGA were 4% more efficient than controls. MGA-fed steers gained similarly to control steers. MGA fed heifers gained 8% faster than control heifers. MGA highly reduced measures of estrus and riding activity throughout the feeding period. MGA feeding improved marbling and tenderness measured in both steers and heifers. These data suggest that MGA has potential to improve performance, quality grade, and tenderness in mixed pens of steers and heifers.

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Iowa State University



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