Performance and health of weanling bulls after butorphanol and xylazine administration at castration

Author: Written by Faulkner, D. B., T. Eurell, W. J. Tranquilli, R. S. Ott, M. W. Ohl, G. F. Cmarik and G. Zinn

Journal: Journal of Animal Science 1992 70: 2970-2974

Abstract: A total of 268 crossbred, 6- to 9-mo-old, bull calves (214 +/- 19 kg) were used in two separate 27-d experiments to assess the effects of butorphanol and xylazine administration (BXA) on the subsequent performance and health of beef calves. In each experiment, calves were randomly allotted to four treatment groups: 1) castration with BXA, 2) castration without BXA, 3) no castration with BXA, and 4) no castration without BXA. There were two replicates within each experiment. The intravenous administration of .07 mg/kg of butorphanol and .02 mg/kg of xylazine occurred 90 s before tail hold and castration procedures. Calves were placed in a squeeze chute and manually restrained by tail elevation. In Exp. 2, the cattle also were scored for chute activity (on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being the most active). Cattle were weighed at the beginning and end of the experiment, feed intake was recorded daily, and cattle were monitored daily for respiratory disease. There were no castration x BXA interactions (P greater than .51). Castration reduced (P less than .01) daily gain and gain/feed and tended (P = .13) to reduce feed intake. The administration of BXA had no effect (P greater than .05) on gain or gain/feed but did tend (P = .13) to reduce feed intake. No differences (P greater than .45) were observed in morbidity or mortality due to either BXA or castration. Castration and BXA increased (P less than .01) blood cortisol levels on d 3, whereas control animals had reduced cortisol levels.