Research Article| Volume 13, ISSUE 4, P170-175, December 1997

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Effects of Gathering Time on Weight and Shrink of Steers Grazing Smooth Bromegrass Pastures1

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      Two studies having 4 × 4 Latin square designs were conducted to quantify the effect of different gathering times on weight of steers grazing smooth bromegrass pastures. Initial and final weights were measured following a 16-h removal from feed and water. An intensive weighing period followed 3 to 4 d after the initial shrunk weight in which all steers were weighed either at grazing initiation (T0; 0700 h in Exp. 1 and 0615 h in Exp. 2) and 1 (T1), 2 (T2), or 3 (T3) h later on 4 separate d with a 2- to 3-d interval between weighings. In Exp. 1 (September 24 to October 7, 1992), 37 steers were allotted into four replicates. Steers gathered at T3 weighed 7 kg more (P<0.05) than those gathered at T0. In Exp. 2 (June 24 to July 13, 1993), 72 steers from two sources [Kansas State University (KSU) and purchased (P)] were allotted into eight replicates. Two replicates within each source received a control mineral mixture and two received a mineral mixture containing lasalocid (1.3 mg/g). Gathering times were arranged in two Latin squares, one for each mineral mixture. Following the last assigned weighing, steers were held in pens without feed or water and weighed at 2- to 3-h intervals until 1500 h. Weights of KSU steers (calm disposition) were 6 kg higher at T3 than at T0, but weights of P steers did not differ (P<0.10) across gathering times. Steers gathered at T3 lost weight at a slower (P<0.05) rate (percentage per hour) during the first 2 to 3 h following gathering (P<0.05) and by 1500 h (P=0.05) than those gathered at the other times. Gathering time had significant impacts on live weight and shrink of grazing cattle in these studies.

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