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Animals 2015, 5(1), 89-100;

Maintenance Energy Requirements of Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Beef Cows

ILVO—Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 February 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
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Simple Summary

Double-muscled Belgian Blue animals are extremely lean, characterized by a deviant muscle fiber type with more fast-glycolytic fibers, compared to non-double-muscled animals. This fiber type may result in lower maintenance energy requirements. On the other hand, lean meat animals mostly have a higher rate of protein turnover, which requires more energy for maintenance. Therefore, maintenance requirements of Belgian Blue cows were investigated based on a zero body weight gain. This technique showed that maintenance energy requirements of double-muscled Belgian Blue beef cows were close to the mean requirements of cows of other beef genotypes.


Sixty non-pregnant, non-lactating double-muscled Belgian Blue (DMBB) cows were used to estimate the energy required to maintain body weight (BW). They were fed one of three energy levels for 112 or 140 days, corresponding to approximately 100%, 80% or 70% of their total energy requirements. The relationship between daily energy intake and BW and daily BW change was developed using regression analysis. Maintenance energy requirements were estimated from the regression equation by setting BW gain to zero. Metabolizable and net energy for maintenance amounted to 0.569 ± 0.001 and 0.332 ± 0.001 MJ per kg BW0.75/d, respectively. Maintenance energy requirements were not dependent on energy level (p > 0.10). Parity affected maintenance energy requirements (p < 0.001), although the small numerical differences between parities may hardly be nutritionally relevant. Maintenance energy requirements of DMBB beef cows were close to the mean energy requirements of other beef genotypes reported in the literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: double-muscled; beef cows; energy; maintenance requirement double-muscled; beef cows; energy; maintenance requirement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fiems, L.O.; De Boever, J.L.; Vanacker, J.M.; De Campeneere, S. Maintenance Energy Requirements of Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Beef Cows. Animals 2015, 5, 89-100.

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