Alternative finishing strategies for Holstein-Friesian bulls slaughtered at 15 months of age
The aim was to establish the optimum finishing strategy (FS) for dairy bulls slaughtered at 15 months. Sixty spring-born calves were assigned to one of four FS. The FS were split into two phases; pasture (PAS) from mid-August to housing (P1) and finished indoors on concentrates ad libitum plus straw for 209 d (P2). Treatment 1 (T1) was offered PAS in P1 and 800 g kg-1 barley (BAR), 140 g kg-1 soya bean meal (SBM), 40 g kg-1 molasses and 20 g kg-1 minerals (B) in P2. Treatments 2 (T2) and 3 (T3) were offered 3 kg dry matter (DM) of B per head daily at PAS. In P2, T2 was offered B while T3 was offered 400 g kg-1 BAR, 400 g kg-1 maize meal, 140 g kg-1 SBM, 40 g kg-1 molasses and 20 g kg-1 minerals (BM). In P1 treatment 4 (T4) was offered 3 kg DM of BM per head daily at PAS and 750 g kg-1 BAR, 140 g kg-1 SBM, 50 g kg-1 rumen protected fat, 40 g kg-1 molasses and 20 g kg-1 minerals in P2. Finishing strategy did not affect lifetime average daily gain or carcass conformation. Fat score tended (p=0.0514) to be greater for T3 than T1 and T4.