Stocking rate and monensin supplemental level effects on growth performance of beef cattle consuming warm-season grasses. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of monensin supplementation on animals receiving warm-season grass with limited supplementation. In Exp. 1, treatments were a factorial combination of 2 stocking rates (1.2 and 1.7 animal unit [AU] [500 kg BW]/ha) and supplementation with monensin (200 mg/d) or control (no monensin) distributed in a complete randomized design with 3 replicates. Thirty Angus Brahman crossbred heifers (Bos taurus Bos indicus) with initial BW of 343 8 kg were randomly allocated into 12 bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) pastures and supplemented with 0.4 kg DM of concentrate (14% CP and 78% TDN) daily for 86 d. Herbage mass (HM) and nutritive value evaluations were conducted every 14 d, and heifers were weighed every 28 d. There was no effect (P 0.97) of monensin on HM, herbage allowance (HA), and ADG; however, animals receiving monensin had greater (P = 0.03) plasma urea nitrogen (PUN) concentrations. The stocking rate treatments had similar HM in June (P = 0.20) and July (P = 0.18), but the higher stocking rate decreased (P < 0.01) HM and HA during August and September. Average daily gain was greater (P < 0.01) for the pastures with the lower stocking rate in August but not different in July and September (P 0.15). Gain per hectare tended to be greater on pastures with the higher stocking rate (P 0.06). In Exp. 2, treatments were 3 levels of monensin (125, 250, and 375 mg/animal per day) and control (no monensin) tested in a 4 4 Latin square with a 10-d adaptation period followed by 5 d of rumen fluid collection and total DMI evaluation. Blood samples were collected on d 4 and 5 of the collection period. Ground stargrass (Cynodon nlemfuensis) hay (11.0% CP and 52% in vitro digestible organic matter) was offered daily. The steers received the same supplementation regimen as in Exp. 1. Total DMI was not different among treatments (P = 0.64). There was a linear increase (P 0.01) in propionate and a tendency for decreased acetate (P 0.09) concentrations in the rumen with increasing levels of monensin; however, there was no effect (P 0.19) of monensin levels on ruminal pH and ruminal concentrations of butyrate and ammonia. In addition, there was no effect (P 0.73) of monensin levels on plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, IGF-1, and PUN. In summary, monensin supplementation effects were not detected at either stocking rate and may not be effective in increasing performance of beef cattle grazing low-quality warm-season grasses with limited supplementation.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Vendramini, J., Sanchez, J., Cooke, R. F., Aguiar, A. D., Moriel, P., da Silva, W. L., ... Pereira, A. C.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • January 2015