Two feedlot studies were conducted to investigate the timing and duration of supplemental vitamin A withdrawal from feedlot cattle (Bos taurus) diets to reduce intramuscular adipose tissue vitamin A concentration and improve carcass quality. In Exp. 1, Angus crossbred steers (n = 84, BW = 211 ± 4 kg) were allotted to 4 treatments: no supplemental vitamin A for 227 d, no supplemental vitamin A for 112 d followed by 115 d of supplemental vitamin A, supplemental vitamin A for 112 d followed by no supplemental vitamin A for 115 d, or supplemental vitamin A for 227 d. In Exp. 2, Angus crossbred steers (n = 80, BW = 210 ± 5 kg) were allotted to 4 treatments: early weaning with or without supplemental vitamin A, and traditional weaning with or without supplemental vitamin A. In both experiments, serum vitamin A concentrations were greatest (P < 0.05) 56 d after cattle were weaned and placed in the feedlot, regardless of feedlot dietary vitamin A concentration. Hepatic vitamin A stores were dramatically decreased (P < 0.05) in the first 56 d and remained depressed as long as steers were not supplemented with vitamin A. At the end of the finishing period, vitamin A concentrations were less in intramuscular than subcutaneous adipose tissue. Growth was not affected by finishing cattle without supplemental dietary vitamin A (P > 0.10). Dietary vitamin A supplementation did not affect USDA yield grades. However, in Exp. 2, cattle without supplemental vitamin A had greater (P < 0.001) ether extractable lipid in the LM. Ether extractable lipid in the LM or marbling scores were enhanced when intramuscular adipose tissue vitamin A concentration was reduced in response to feeding diets without supplemental vitamin A.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology