Estimation of Protein Requirements of Feedlot Steers

Alfredo DiCostanzo, C. M. Zehnder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Feedlot performance, carcass characteristics, and diet composition data were collected from a survey of finishing steer experiments (40 experiments; 347 kg average initial weight; data excluded Holstein steers). Data were analyzed by weighted (observations/mean) analyses of variance to determine effects of protein intake and implanting strategy on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics. Implanting strategies were defined according to prevalent or last implant type used: no implant (None); mediumpotency implants (Medium): zeranol 72 mg per dose, steroid-based implants (Synovex-S or Compudose) or trenbolone acetate (TBA) alone high-potency implants (High): TBA in combination with either steroids or zeranol. Regression procedures were utilized to estimate CP and DIP, or MP requirements. Implant effects were independent (P>0.60) of dietary protein effects and included faster (P<0.05) gains at higher intakes (P<0.05) that resulted in improved (P<0.05) feed efficiencies. Steers responded to higher dietary CP (13.3 vs 11.4%) by increasing intake (P<0.05) which resulted in faster (P<0.05) and more efficient (P=0.09) gains. Compared to nonimplanted steers, implanted steers had heavier (P<0.05) carcasses with larger (P<0.05) ribeyes and lower (P<0.05) marbling scores. Nonimplanted steers fed 13.3% CP diets had heavier (P<0.05) carcasses than nonimplanted steers fed 11.4% CP diets. Maintenance MP requirements of nonimplanted steers were greater than those of implanted steers and similar to established MP requirements. Diets of steers implanted with high-potency implants must be supplemented to contain more than 7.5 g MP/kg BW0.75/d, especially at heavy (>450 kg) initial BW, to maximize implant response. Implanted steers have a greater ability to respond to increased dietary protein because of reduced protein requirements for maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Carcass
  • Implant
  • Protein Requirement
  • Steers


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