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Compensatory growth is the "better than expected" growth performance seen in animals following a period of very low weight gain or weight loss when nutrient levels return to sufficient amounts. During a stressful period, an animals maintenance requirements will lower to aid survival which means that their growth efficiency and protein deposition potential increase. When they are given access to a higher quality feed, they experience fantastic compensatory growth. Cattle may experience compensatory gain only for a short period of time before they plateau and grow at similar rates to other stock that did not undergo nutrient restriction.

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