Mercier, J., Cinq-Mars, D., Berthiaume, R., Faucitano, L. and Girard, C. L. 2015. Effects of dietary total non-structural carbohydrates and folic acid and vitamin B12 supplement on growth and meat quality of yearling steers in a forage-based beef production system. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 95: 281-291. Thirty-two spring calving cows [760±91 kg body weight (BW)] and calves (44±4.5 kg BW) were assigned to eight blocks of four cows and their calves each according to parity and calving date. Within each block, two cows were fed a low total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) diet, while the two others were fed a high TNC diet. Within each diet, cows were administered either no vitamins or weekly intramuscular injections of 160 mg of folic acid plus 10 mg of vitamin B12. Calves were slaughtered at 305±9 d. Neither TNC concentration nor vitamin supplementation affected (P>0.10) milk yield but the vitamin supplementation increased (P=0.002) milk concentrations of vitamin B12. There was no treatment effect on calf performance, or carcass and meat characteristics (P>0.10) except for collagen concentrations and shear force measurements in the longissimus lumborum muscle, which had a tendency to be decreased (P≤0.06) by the vitamin supplement. In the present study, differences in forage TNC concentrations did not influence cow and calf performance. Moreover, folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements were shown to have little impact in this study on growth of beef cattle.
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Vol. 95 • No. 2