Influence of rice whole‐crop silage diet on growth performance, carcass and meat characteristics and muscle‐related gene expression in Japanese Black steers
The present study investigated the influence of a diet largely comprising rice whole‐crop silage (rWCS) on growth performance, carcass and meat characteristics, and expression of genes involved in muscle growth of Japanese Black steers. Steers were randomly separated into rWCS‐fed (rWCS ad libitum and restricted feeding of concentrate) and concentrate‐fed groups. Total digestible nutrient intake and daily gain (DG) decreased in rWCS‐fed steers in comparison with concentrate‐fed steers, whereas dressed carcass weight and final body weight did not significantly differ between the groups. Decreases in drip loss in the muscle of rWCS‐fed steers may be caused by α‐tocopherol and β‐carotene in muscle. Feeding large amounts of rWCS to steers may maintain quantitative productivity of beef steers equally to a concentrate‐based diet, and improve the qualitative productivity. Results of gene expression suggest that activation of skeletal muscle growth in rWCS‐fed steers may occur at the late fattening period owing to a decrease in myostatin and increase in myosin heavy chain gene expression. Preadipocyte factor‐1 and myostatin genes may be strongly involved in the control of lipid accumulation. This rearing system would allow beef production to switch to rWCS‐based diets from concentrate‐based diets.
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