A trial was carried out using 490, 12- to 15-month-old steers which were at pasture from April to November and then housed and fed grass silage and concentrates until sold live or slaughtered. Animals were allocated at random to one of the following treatments: (i) Control; (ii) implanted with 45 mg oestradiol -17 beta in silastic rubber in April; (iii) implanted with oestradiol in April and with 300 mg trenbolone acetate in April, August and November; (iv) implanted with 36 mg zeranol in April, August and November and (v) implanted with zeranol and trenbolone acetate in April, August and November. Daily liveweight gains were 0.69, 0.75, 0.78, 0.83 and 0.86 (+/- 0.02) kg, and carcase weights were 300, 306, 311, 316 and 321 (+/- 3.4) kg, for treatments (i) to (v), respectively. All implanted animals had significantly higher daily gains than control animals and an additive response was obtained where trenbolone acetate was used with oestradiol or zeranol. Pooled results for animals treated with oestradiol plus zeranol, with or without trenbolone acetate, show that the overall response for zeranol treated animals was higher than from the animals treated with oestradiol. Daily gains after the first, second and third implant period show a reduced response from the oestradiol implant for the final 63 days of the trial. This may have been caused by loss of some oestradiol implants from animals early in the trial.
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