Blood serum concentration of IGF-I was analyzed to determine its relationship with individual postweaning feed efficiency (gain/feed) of 36 crossbred steer calves fed at three levels of feed intake (n = 12 at each level). Diets consisted of a corn silage-based growing diet for 84 d followed by a 91% concentrate finishing diet for 56 d. Dietary intake levels were at 80, 90, or 100% of ad libitum. Diets were formulated to ensure equal daily intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals across intake treatment levels. Intake was measured daily; ADG, DMI, and feed efficiency were calculated at 28-d intervals, through d 140. Individual weights and serum samples were collected at the beginning of the study and at 28-d intervals thereafter. The IGF-I concentrations were determined with a RIA. Data were analyzed as a multivariate split-plot in time. Imposed dietary intake restrictions did not affect serum IGF-I concentration (P = .90) or individual feed efficiency (P = .36), even though the least squares means for IGF-I concentration tended to decrease and the feed efficiency means tended to increase under the restricted intake levels. Serum IGF-I concentration, ADG, and feed efficiency were affected (P < .001) by collection date. Residual correlations between IGF-I concentrations at adjacent 28-d sampling times averaged .72. Diet intake level × sampling time interactions existed for ADG (P = .02) and feed efficiency (P < .001). Positive residual correlations of .28 (P < .001) and .16 (P = .07) existed between IGF-I and ADG and between IGF-I and feed efficiency, respectively. Regression analysis indicated that a 1 ng/mL increase in serum IGF-I concentration was associated with a .00135 kg/d increase in ADG (P < .001) and a .0001 kg gain/kg feed increase in feed efficiency (P = .04). These results support the hypothesis that serum IGF-I plays a role in growth and in efficiency of feed utilization in beef cattle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology