Influence of Ionophore Supplementation on Growth Performance, Dietary Energetics and Carcass Characteristics in Finishing Cattle during Period of Heat Stress

  • Barreras, A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Castro-Perez, B.I. (Veterinary School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Lopez-Soto, M.A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Torrentera, N.G. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Montano, M.F. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Estrada-Angulo, A. (Veterinary School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Rios, F.G. (Veterinary School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Davila-Ramos, H. (Veterinary School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Plascencia, A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Zinn, R.A. (Department of Animal Science, University of California)
  • Received : 2013.04.16
  • Accepted : 2013.07.03
  • Published : 2013.11.01


Forty-eight crossbred heifers ($378.1{\pm}18$ kg) were used in a 56-d feeding trial (four pens per treatment in a randomised complete block design) to evaluate the influence of ionophore supplementation on growth performance, dietary energetics and carcass characteristics in finishing cattle during a period of heat stress. Heifers were fed a diet based on steam-flaked corn (2.22 Mcal $NE_m/kg$) with and without an ionophore. Treatments were: i) control, no ionophore; ii) 30 mg/kg monensin sodium (RUM30); iii) 20 mg/kg lasalocid sodium (BOV20), and iv) 30 mg/kg lasalocid sodium (BOV30). Both dry matter intake (DMI) and climatic variables were measured daily and the temperature humidity index (THI) was estimated. The maximum THI during the study averaged 93, while the minimum was 70 (THI average = $79.2{\pm}2.3$). Compared to controls, monensin supplementation did not influence average daily gain, the estimated NE value of the diet, or observed-to-expected DMI, but tended (p = 0.07) to increase (4.8%) gain to feed. Compared to controls, the group fed BOV30 increased ($p{\leq}0.03$) daily gain (11.8%), gain to feed (8.3%), net energy of the diet (5%), and observed-to-expected DMI (5.2%). Daily weight gain was greater (7.6%, p = 0.05) for heifers fed BOV30 than for heifers fed MON30. Otherwise, differences between the two treatments in DMI, gain to feed, and dietary NE were not statistically significant (p>0.11). Plotting weekly intakes versus THI, observed intake of controls was greater (p<0.05) at THI values ${\leq}77$ than ionophore groups. When THI values were greater than 79, DMI of control and MON30 were not different (p = 0.42), although less than that of groups fed lasalocid (p = 0.04). Variation in energy intake was lower (p>0.05) in the ionophores group (CV = 1.7%) than in the control group (CV = 4.5%). Inclusion of ionophores in the diet resulted in relatively minor changes in carcass characteristics. It is concluded that ionophore supplementation did not exacerbate the decline of DM intake in heat-stressed cattle fed a high-energy finishing diet; on the contrary, it stabilised feed intake and favoured feed efficiency. Ionophore supplementation reduced estimated maintenance coefficients around 10% in finishing cattle during a period of heat stress. This effect was greatest for heifers supplemented with 30 mg lasalocid/kg of diet.


  1. AOAC. 2000. Official methods of analysis, 17th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
  2. Armstrong, J. D. and J. W. Spears. 1988. Intravenous administration of ionophores in ruminants: effects on metabolism independent of the rumen. J. Anim. Sci. 66:1807-1817.
  3. Bartley, E. E., E. L. Herod, R. M. Bechtle, D. A. Sapienza, and B. E. Brent. 1979. Effect of monensin or lasalocid, with and without niacin or amicloral, on rumen fermentation and feed efficiency. J. Anim. Sci. 49:1066-1075.
  4. Beacom, S. E., Z. Mir, G. O. Korsrud, W. G. D. Yates, and J. D. MacNeil. 1988. Effect of the feed additives chlortetracycline, monensin and lasalocid on feedlot performance of finishing cattle, liver lesions and tissue levels of chlortetracycline. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 68:1131-1141.
  5. Beermann, D. H. 1995. Growth promotants-promise, problems, and perceptions. Proc. Reciprocal Meat Conf. 48:45-50.
  6. Benz, D. A., F. M. Byers, G. T. Schelling, L. W. Greene, D. K. Lunt, and S. B. Smith. 1989. Ionophores alter hepatic concentrations of intermediary carbohydrate metabolites in steers. J. Anim. Sci. 67:2393-2399.
  7. Bergen, W. G. and D. B. Bates. 1984. Ionophores: their effect on production efficiency and mode of action. J. Anim. Sci. 58: 1465-1483.
  8. Berger, L. L., S. C. Ricke, and G. C. Fahey. 1981. Comparison of two forms and two levels of lasalocid with monensin on feedlot cattle performance. J. Anim. Sci. 53:1440-1445.
  9. Clark, S., R. Daly, E. Jordan, J. Lee, A. Mathew, and P. Ebner. 2012. EXTENSION EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM: The future of biosecurity and antimicrobial use in livestock production in the United States and the role of extension. J. Anim. Sci. 90:2861-2872.
  10. Correa-Calderon, A., J. A. Hernandez-Rivera, L. Avendano-Reyes, U. Macias-Cruz, R. Diaz-Molina, F. D. Alvarez-Valenzuela, and A. Gonzalez-Reyna. 2012. Reproductive performance and serum concentrations of progesterone of heat-stressed Holstein heifers subjected to timed artificial insemination and progesterone supplementation. Turk. Vet. Anim. Sci. 36:611-616.
  11. Delfino, J., G. W. Mathison, and M. W. Smith. 1988. Effect of lasalocid on feedlot performance and energy partitioning in cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 66:136-150.
  12. Depenbusch, B. E., J. S. Drouillard, E. R. Loe, J. J. Higgins, M. E. Corrigan, and M. J. Quinn. 2008. Efficacy of monensin and tylosin in finishing diets based on steam-flaked corn with and without corn wet distillers grains with solubles. J. Anim. Sci. 86: 2270-2276.
  13. Di Lorenzo, N. and M. L. Galyean. 2010. Alpharma Beef Cattle Nutrition Symposium - Alternative Energy Sources in High-Energy Diets for Beef Cattle: Challenges, Benefits, and Management Options Applying technology with newer feed ingredients in feedlot diets: Do the old paradigms apply? J. Anim. Sci. 88:E123-E132.
  14. Duff, G. C. and M. L. Galyean. 2007. BOARD-INVITED REVIEW: Recent advances in management of highly stressed, newly received feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 85:823-840.
  15. Duffield, T. F., J. K. Merrill, and R. N. Bagg. 2012. Meta-analysis of the effects of monensin in beef cattle on feed efficiency, body weight gain, and dry matter intake. J. Anim. Sci. 90: 4583-4592.
  16. Erickson, P. S., M. L. Davis, C. S. Murdock, K. E. Pastir, M. R. Murphy, G. C. Schwab, and J. I. Marden. 2004. Ionophore taste preferences of dairy heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 82:3314-3320.
  17. Fajt, R. V. 2007. Regulation of drugs used in feedlot diets. In: Veterinary Clinics of North America (Ed. L. C. Hollis and K. C. Olson) Elsevier Saunders, New York, NY. pp. 23:299-307.
  18. Fox, D. G., C. J. Sniffen, and J. D. O'Connor. 1988. Adjusting nutrient requirements of beef cattle for animal and environmental variations. J. Anim. Sci. 66:1475-1495.
  19. Galyean, M. L., K. J. Malcom, D. R. Garcia, and G. D. Pulsipher. 1992. Effects of varying the pattern of feed consumption on performance by programmed-fed steers. New Mexico State University. Research Agricultural Experimental Station. PR. 78.
  20. Garcia, E. 1985. Modificaciones al sistema de clasificacion climatica de Koppen para adaptarlo a las condiciones de la Republica Mexicana. 2nd edn. Instituto de Geografia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, DF (In spanish).
  21. Garret, W. 1971. Energetic efficiency of beef and dairy steers. J. Anim. Sci. 31:452-456.
  22. Gibb, D. J., S. M. S. Moustafa, R. D. Wiedmeier, and T. A. McAllister. 2001. Effect of salinomycin or monensin on performance and feeding behaviour of cattle fed wheat- or barley-based diets. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 81:253-261.
  23. Goodrich, R. D., J. E. Garrett, D. R. Gast, M. A. Kirick, D. A. Larson, and J. C. Meiske. 1984. Influence of monensin on the performance of cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 58:1484-1498.
  24. Hahn, G. L. 1999. Dynamic responses of cattle to thermal heat loads. J. Anim. Sci. 77:10-20.
  25. Igono, M. O., G. Bjotvedt, and H. T. Sanford-Crane. 1992. Environmental profile and critical temperature effects on milk production of Holstein cows in desert climate. Int. J. Biometeorol. 36:77-87.
  26. National Research Council. 1981. Effect of environment on nutrient requirements of domestic animals. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  27. National Research Council. 1984. Nutrient requirements of beef cattle. 6th ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  28. National Research Council. 1987. Predicting feed intake of food-producing animals. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  29. National Research Council. 2000. Nutrient requirements of beef cattle. Updated 7th ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  30. Macias-Cruz, U., F. D. Alvarez-Valenzuela, A. Correa-Calderon, R. Diaz-Molina, M. Mellado, C. Meza-Herrera, and L. Avendano-Reyes. 2013. Thermoregulation of nutrient-restricted hair ewes subjected to heat stress during late pregnancy. J. Therm. Biol. 38:1-9.
  31. Mader, T. L. 2003. Environmental stress in confined beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 81:E110-E119.
  32. Mader, T. L., L. W. Lomas, and I. G. Rush. 1985. Lasalocid in liquid supplements for finishing feedlot cattle. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 65:891-896.
  33. Montgomery, S. P., J. S. Drouillard, J. J. Sindt, T. B. Farran, H. J. Labrune, and R. D. Hunter. 2003. Effects of monensin and tylosin concentrations in limit-fed, high-energy growing diets for beef cattle. Prof. Anim. Sci. 19:244-250.
  34. Page, S. W. 2003. The Role of Enteric Antibiotics in Livestock Production. Avcare Limited. Canberra.
  35. Raun, A. P., C. O. Cooley, E. L. Potter, R. P. Rathmacher, and L. F. Richardson. 1976. Effect of monensin on feed efficiency of feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 43:670-677.
  36. Russell, J. B. and H. J. Strobel. 1988. Effects of additives on in vitro ruminal fermentation: a comparison of monensin and bacitracin, another gram-positive antibiotic. J. Anim. Sci. 66: 552-558.
  37. Schelling, G. 1984. Monensin mode of action in the rumen. J. Anim. Sci. 58:1518-1527.
  38. Soto-Navarro, S. A., G. C. Duff, C. R. Krehbiel, M. L. Galyean, and K. J. Malcolm-Callis. 2000a. Influence of feed intake fluctuation, feeding frequency, time of feeding, and rate of gain on performance by limit-fed steers. Prof. Anim. Sci. 16: 13-20.
  39. Soto-Navarro, S. A., C. R. Krehbiel, G. C. Duff, M. L. Galyean, M. S. Brown, and R. L. Steiner. 2000b. Influence of feed intake fluctuation and frequency of feeding on nutrient digestion, digesta kinetics, and ruminal fermentation profiles in limit-fed steers. J. Anim. Sci. 78:2215-2222.
  40. Spires, H. R., A. Olmsted, L. L. Berger, J. P. Fontenot, D. R. Gill, J. G. Riley, M. I. Wray, and R. A. Zinn. 1990. Efficacy of laidlomycin propionate for increasing rate and efficiency of gain by feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 68:3382-3391.
  41. Stock, R. A., M. H. Sindt, J. C. Parrott, and F .K. Goedeken. 1990. Effects of grain type, roughage level and monensin level on finishing cattle performance. J. Anim. Sci. 68:3441-3455.
  42. Stock, R. A., S. B. Laudert, W. W. Stroup, E. M. Larson, J. C. Parrott, and R. A. Britton. 1995a. Effect of monensin and monensin and tylosin combination on feed intake variation of feedlot steers. J. Anim. Sci. 73:39-44.
  43. Stock, R., T. Klopfenstein, and D. Shain.1995b. Feed intake variation. In: Symposium; Feed Intake by Feedlot Cattle. Oklahoma Agriculture Experimental Station. P-942, 56-59.
  44. USDA. 1997. United States Standards for Grading of Carcass Beef. Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
  45. Zinn, R. A. 1986. Influence of forage level on response of feedlot steers to salinomycin supplementation. J. Anim. Sci. 63:2005-2012.
  46. Zinn, R. A. 1987. Influence of lasalocid and monensin plus tylosin on comparative feeding value of steam-flaked versus dry-rolled corn diets for feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 65:256-266.
  47. Zinn, R. A. 1988. Comparative feeding value of supplemental fat in fi nishing diets for feedlot steers supplemented with and without monensin. J. Anim. Sci. 66:213-227.
  48. Zinn, R. A. 1994. Influence of fluctuating feed intake on feedlot cattle growth-performance and digestive function. In: Southwest Nutrition Manaz.

Cited by

  1. Performance of beef heifers supplemented with sodium lasalocid vol.49, pp.2, 2017,
  2. Effect of increasing monensin sodium levels in diets with virginiamycin on the finishing of Nellore cattle vol.88, pp.11, 2017,
  3. A meta-analysis of lasalocid effects on rumen measures, beef and dairy performance, and carcass traits in cattle1 vol.94, pp.1, 2016,