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RESPONSES TO MONENSIN AND OESTRADIOL IN STEERS GRAZING TWO TROPICAL PASTURES IN N. E. QUEENSLAND

  • Jones, R.J. (CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Davies Laboratory) ;
  • Minson, D.J. (CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Cunningham Laboratory)
  • Received : 1990.01.24
  • Accepted : 1990.05.16
  • Published : 1990.09.01

Abstract

Monensin administered as a slow release capsule to Droughtmaster steers grazing mixed pastures containing Stylosanthes hamata or grass pastures fertilized with N, had no effect on growth rate over 111 day period. Monensin significantly increased the level of propionic acid (p<0.001) and decreased the level of butyric acid (p<0.01) in the rumen. The lack of response to monesin was partly attributed to the poor pasture conditions and growth rate of the steers during part of the experimental period. An implant of oestradiol improved growth rates during the period of poor forage quality and in the subsequent 56 days when pastures were of high quality following rain. Mean growth rates over the entire 157 days for control, monensin and monensin/oestradiol treatments were 0.37, 0.37 and 0.50 kg/d respectively. It was concluded that when pasture conditions are sufficient only for the maintenance of liveweight, production can be improved by an oestradiol implant but not by feeding an ionophore such as monensin.

Keywords

Monensin;Oestradiol;Tropical Pastures;Beef Cattle