Influence of incremental zeranol implant doses on the chemical and physical characteristics of third metacarpal bone and chemical composition of liver and soft tissue from feedlot steers.
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Chemical and physical characteristics of third metacarpal bones and liver and rib soft tissue composition from feedlot steers were determined. Steers were selected (32 from each experimental location) to represent the range in slaughter weight and composition for each treatment group in three (total n = 1,088) feedlot experiments. Steers were implanted with 0, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, or 96 mg of zeranol at approximately 140 d before slaughter. Cattle at each location were fed for the same number of days and slaughtered as a group. Zeranol dose had no effect on the chemical composition of bone, liver, or rib soft tissue with the following exceptions: zeranol decreased (P < .01) bone Ca concentration and increased (P < .07) liver P concentration. Zeranol implantation decreased medullary cavity anterioposterior (AP) diameters and AP cortical width (P < .08). Loads withstood by the bones up to flexure (P < .08) and the strain at flexure (P < .09) were inversely related to the quadratic of zeranol dose. However, modulus of elasticity at flexure and breaking increased numerically with zeranol dose. Stress withstood by bones at flexure was greater (P < .09) for implanted steers. Strain data indicate that metacarpals from steers receiving zeranol would exhibit less deformation upon loading to flexure (P < .09) than controls. These data indicate that administration of intermediate doses of zeranol altered bone deposition of Ca, which resulted in modified third metacarpal physical and mechanical characteristics.