Comparing Blend of Essential Oils Plus 25-Hydroxy-Vit-D3 Versus Monensin Plus Virginiamycin Combination in Finishing Feedlot Cattle: Growth Performance, Dietary Energetics, and Carcass Traits
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131715
Ninety crossbreed bulls (349.5 ± 8.25 kg initial weight) were used in an 87day trial to compare the effects of a blend of essential oils plus 25-hydroxy-Vit-D3 (EO + HyD) versus the combination of monensin with virginiamycin (MON + VM) on feedlot growth performance and carcass characteristics. Dietary treatments (nine replicates/treatment) were supplemented with 40 mg/kg diet dry matter of MON + VM (equal parts) or with 120.12 mg/kg diet dry matter of a combination of standardized mixture of essential oils (120 mg) plus 0.12 mg of 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D3 (EO + HyD). There were no treatment effects on dry matter intake (DMI, p = 0.63). However, the coefficient of variation in day-to-day DMI was greater for EO + HyD than for MON + VM (11.4% vs. 3.88%, p = 0.04). There were no treatment effects (p ≥ 0.17) on daily weight gain, gain-to-feed ratio, and estimated dietary net energy. Cattle supplemented with EO + HyD had greater Longissimus muscle area (7.9%, p < 0.01) and estimated retail yield (1.6%, p = 0.03), and tended to have heavier (1.7%, p = 0.10) carcass weight. Differences among treatments in dressing percentage, fat thickness, kidney−pelvic−heart fat, and marbling score were not appreciable (p > 0.10). It is concluded that growth performance response and dietary energetic are similar for finishing cattle supplemented with EO + HyD vs. MON + VM. However, compared with MON + VM, supplementation with EO + HyD during the finishing phase may improve carcass Longissimus area and carcass yield.