Metabolic Components of Energy Expenditure in Growing Beef Cattle - Review -

  • Caton, J.S. (Department of Animal and Range Sciences, North Dakota State University) ;
  • Bauer, M.L. (Department of Animal and Range Sciences, North Dakota State University) ;
  • Hidari, H. (Obibiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine)
  • Published : 2000.05.01


A large portion of total energy expenditure associated with ruminant livestock production goes towards maintenance. Approximately 55% of whole body energy use is consumed by visceral tissues (including internal organs) with the majority of this going to the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Muscle and adipose tissues consume about 27% of total body energy expenditure. Metabolic components within the viscera responsible for the majority of energy consumption include ion transport, protein turnover, substrate cycling, and urea synthesis (liver). Within muscle tissue of growing animals ion transport and protein turnover account for most of the energy expenditure. Protein synthesis consumes approximately 23% of whole body energy use and visceral tissues account for proportionally more of whole body protein synthesis than skeletal muscle. Research efforts focused on improving energetic efficiency of the tissues and metabolic mechanisms responsible for the majority of whole animal energy expenditure should provide information leading to more efficient production of an edible product.

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