Effects of breed and wintering diet on heifer postweaning growth and development.

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Fifteen spring-born Angus (AN) and 25 Brangus (BN) weanling heifers were used in a 2x5 factorial arrangement of treatments to evaluate the effects of breed and postweaning winter diet on heifer growth and development. Dietary treatments were warm-season perennial grass hay (H), ammoniated H (AH), H plus .68 kg/d cottonseed meal (HP), H plus .45 kg/d cottonseed meal plus 1.37 kg/d ground corn (HPE) and HPE plus 200 mg/d monensin (HPEM). Mean initial weight and age for the 107-d feed trial were 207 kg and 270 d. Brangus had .06 kg greater (P less than .05) ADG than AN during the trial. Although digestible DM intake (DDMI) relative to body weight was greater (P less than .10) for AN than for BN, ADG:DDMI was greater (P less than .05) for BN than for AN. Heifers fed H and AH lost weight, but heifers fed AH had 50% (P less than .05) less daily weight loss than those fed H. Daily gain increased (P less than .05) incrementally in response to sequential supplement additions of cottonseed meal (AH vs HP; -.10 vs .17 kg), ground corn (HP vs HPE; .17 vs .29 kg) and monensin (HPE vs HPEM; .29 vs .39 kg). Hay DM intake relative to body weight and DDMI were increased (P less than .01) by ammoniation. Intake did not differ between HPE and HPEM. Diet affected age at puberty (P less than .05), which decreased with increased dietary components. Weight differences among diet groups following the winter feed trial were largely eliminated prior to breeding. Nevertheless, H- and AH-fed heifers collectively weighed less (P less than .01) prior to breeding than did heifers of supplemented diet groups. Reproductive development tended to be adversely affected by weight loss during the postweaning period.

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Journal of animal science

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