Physical and chemical components of the empty body during compensatory growth in beef steers.
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The composition of carcass and noncarcass tissue growth was quantified by serial slaughter of 26 Angus x Hereford crossbred steers (initial age and weight 289 +/- 4 d and 245 +/- 4 kg) during continuous growth (CON) or compensatory growth (CG) after a period of growth restriction (.4 kg/d) from 245 to 325 kg BW. All steers were fed a 70% concentrate diet at ad libitum or restricted levels. Homogenized samples of 9-10-11th rib and noncarcass tissues were analyzed for nitrogen, fat, ash, and moisture. Growth rate from 325 to 500 kg BW was 1.54 and 1.16 kg/d for CG and CON steers. The weight of gut fill in CG steers was 10.8 kg less (P less than .05) before realimentation and 8.8 kg more (P less than .10) at 500 kg BW than in CON steers. The allometric accretive rates for carcass chemical components relative to the empty body were not affected by treatment. However, the accretive rates for CG steers were greater (P less than .01) for noncarcass protein (.821 vs .265), noncarcass water (.861 vs .507), and empty-body protein (.835 vs. .601) than for CON steers. Final empty-body fat was lower (P less than .001; 24.2 vs 32.4%) and empty-body protein higher (P less than .001; 16.6 vs 14.8%) in CG steers than in CON steers. Consequently, net energy requirements for growth (NEg) were approximately 18% lower for CG steers. We conclude that reduced NEg requirements and changes in gut fill accounted for most of the compensatory growth response exhibited in these steers.