Early weaning of calves after different dietary regimens affects later rumen development, growth, and carcass traits in Hanwoo cattle

  • Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Jeong, JinYoung (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Baek, Youl-Chang (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Oh, Young Kyun (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Minseok (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • So, Kyung Min (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Min Ji (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Dong Woon (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Park, Sung Kwon (Department of Food Science and Technology, Sejong University) ;
  • Lee, Hyun-Jeong (Animal Nutritional and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA)
  • Received : 2017.04.25
  • Accepted : 2017.06.27
  • Published : 2017.10.01


Objective: The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of different diets for early-weaned (EW) calves on rumen development, and how this affects fat deposition in the longissimus dorsi of adult Korean Hanwoo beef cattle. Methods: Three EW groups were established (each n = 12) in which two- week-old Hanwoo calves were fed for ten weeks with milk replacer+concentrate (T1), milk replacer+concentrate+roughage (T2), or milk replacer+concentrate+30% starch (T3); a control group (n = 12) was weaned as normal. At six months, 5 calves of each group were slaughtered and their organs were assessed and rumen papillae growth rates were measured. The remaining calves (n = 7 in each group) were raised to 20 months for further analysis. Results: Twenty-month-old EW calves had a higher body weight (BW), backfat thickness (BF), longissimus dorsi muscle area (LMA) and intramuscular fat (IMF) than the control (p<0.05). Organ growth, rumen histology, and gene expression patterns in the 6-month-old calves were positively related to the development of marbling in the loin, as assessed by ultrasound analysis (p<0.05). In the group fed the starch-enriched diet (T3), higher BW, BF, LMA, and IMF were present. The IMF beef quality score of 20-month-old cattle was 1+ for the T2 and T3 diets and 1 for the T1 diet (p<0.05). Conclusion: Papillae development was significantly greater in calves fed on high-concentrate diets and this may have resulted in the improved beef quality in the EW dietary groups compared to the control.


Supported by : National Livestock Research Institute


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