Type

Journal Article

Authors

Bernadette Earley
Alan K Kelly
Edward G. O'Riordan
Mark McGee
Michael P Keane

Subjects

Veterinary

Topics
space body weight beef cattle welfare steers concrete grass silage live weight

Performance and welfare of steers housed on concrete slatted floors at fixed and dynamic (allometric based) space allowances. (2017)

Abstract The objectives of the study were to determine whether allometric equations are suitable for estimating the space requirements of finishing beef cattle housed on concrete slatted floors (CSF) and to examine the effect of fixed and dynamic space allowances on the performance and welfare of these cattle. Continental crossbred steers [n = 120: mean initial live weight, 590 (SD 29.8) kg] were blocked by breed, weight, and age and assigned to 1 of 5 space allowance treatments (3 fixed and 2 dynamic) on CSF: 1) 2.0 m2 per animal, 2) 2.5 m2 per animal, 3) 3.0 m2 per animal, 4) Equation 1 (E1); y = 0.033w0.667, where y = m2 per animal and w = body weight, and 5) Equation 2 (E2); y = 0.048w0.667. The length of the feed face was 3.0 m for all treatments. Steers were offered grass silage and concentrates ad libitum. DMI was recorded weekly on a pen basis. Steers were weighed and dirt scored every 14 d. Blood samples were collected every 28 d, and analyzed for complete cell counts. Behavior was recorded using closed-circuit infrared cameras. Steers' hooves were inspected for lesions at the beginning of the study and post-slaughter. Slaughter weight and ADG were lowest, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was poorest, for steers accommodated at 2.0 m2, and slaughter weight and ADG were greatest, and FCR was the best, for steers accommodated at E2 (P < 0.05); steers accommodated at 2.5 m2 were intermediate (P > 0.05) to those accommodated at 2.0 m2 and both 3.0 m2 and E1, whereas steers accommodated at 3.0 m2 and E1 were intermediate (P > 0.05) to 2.5 m2 and E2. Carcass weight of steers housed at 2.0 m2 was lower (P < 0.05) than all other treatments. Steers housed at 2.5 m2 had lower carcass weights (P < 0.05) than those with accommodated at E1 and E2, whereas the carcass weight of steers accommodated at 3.0 m2 was intermediate. Carcass fat scores and hide weights were lower (P < 0.05) in steers accommodated at 2.0 m2 than those housed at E2 with other treatments being intermediate. The number of steers lying at any one time and the number of steers observed grooming themselves was lower (P < 0.05) at 2.0 m2 than any other treatment. Dirt scores, hoof lesion number, and hematological measurements were not affected by treatment. It was concluded that 2.0 m2 per animal was an insufficient space allowance for housing finishing beef steers and that the equation y = 0.033w0.667 is sufficient for estimating the space required by finishing beef cattle housed on CSF.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

Bernadette Earley, Alan K Kelly, Edward G. O'Riordan, Mark McGee, Michael P Keane

Experts in our system

1
Bernadette Earley
Teagasc
Total Publications: 120
 
2
Alan K Kelly
Teagasc
Total Publications: 88
 
3
Edward G. O'Riordan
Teagasc
Total Publications: 30
 
4
Mark McGee
Teagasc
Total Publications: 81
 
5
Michael P Keane
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 23