Blood and serum components and organ weights in steers, bulls and zeranol-implanted bulls.J Anim Sci 1987; 64(2):489-96JA
To investigate certain physiological aspects of the mode of action of zeranol or Ralgro on growth, behavior and carcass quality of young bulls, concentrations of 19 blood components and weights of eight organs were determined. Experimental animals consisted of 36 untreated steers, 36 untreated bulls, 36 bulls implanted with zeranol at 3 mo of age and subsequently at 5, 8 and 10 mo and 36 bulls implanted with zeranol at 6 mo of age and subsequently at 9 and 11 mo. In addition, half of the animals in each group were subjected to moderate pre-slaughter stress (mixing and trucking 160 km); the other half was subjected to minimum pre-slaughter stress (no mixing and 4 km transport). Concentrations of cortisol, urea nitrogen and albumin in serum were higher (P less than .01) and those of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alkaline phosphatase (AP) and creatinine were lower (P less than .05) in steers than in intact males. Concentrations of GOT, LDH, and creatinine were higher (P less than .05) in implanted than those in control males. Pre-slaughter stress had a significant effect on several traits measured in blood or serum. Thyroid glands were smaller (P less than .01) in steers than in control and implanted males. Testes were smaller (P less than .01) in the zeranol-implanted than in untreated males. Results indicate that zeranol had only a minor effect on the 19 blood components studied, but it did reduce testicle size. Castration had a major impact on several of the blood components. Pre-slaughter management had a significant effect on several blood components.