Effect of degree of corn processing on urinary nitrogen composition, serum metabolite and insulin profiles, and performance by finishing steers

M. S. Brown, C. R. Krehbiel, G. C. Duff, M. L. Galyean, D. M. Hallford, D. A. Walker

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Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of degree of corn processing on urinary ammonia and urea N concentrations, serum metabolite and insulin concentrations, and feedlot performance of steers. Corn was processed by either dry rolling to .54 kg/L bulk density (DR42; 42 lb/bushel) or steam flaking to a bulk density of .36 or .26 kg/L (28 [SF28] and 20 [SF20] lb/bushel, respectively). Degrees of processing were selected to generate final products with 25, 50, or 75% enzymatically available starch. Available starch, expressed as a percentage of total starch for DR42, SF28, and SF20, averaged 24.5, 56.4, and 81.1% in Exp. 1 and 22.4, 60.1, and 80.1% in Exp. 2. In Exp. 1, 29 steers were housed in individual outdoor pens and adapted to a 90% concentrate diet over 21 d. Whole blood and urine were collected before feeding and at 4 and 8 h after feeding on d 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 84, and 140. Daily DMI decreased linearly (P < .03) as degree of processing increased, whereas water intake did not differ (P > .42) among treatments. Average daily gain, ADG:DMI, and hot carcass weight responded quadratically (P < .04) to an increasing degree of processing. Urinary ammonia and urea N concentrations were not influenced (P > .30) by degree of processing. Whole blood packed cell volume, serum glucose, creatinine, D(-)-lactate, L(+)-lactate, and lactate dehydrogenase activity did not differ (P > .15) among treatments. For insulin data, ME intake on the day of sample collection was evaluated as a covariate. On d 28, serum insulin (2.49, 2.95, and 1.80 ± .33 ng/mL) responded quadratically (P = .04) as degree of processing increased. Serum insulin did not differ (P = .52) on d 84, whereas insulin (5.77, 7.51, and 4.12 ± .98 ng/mL) responded quadratically (P = .02) on d 140. In Exp. 2, 216 steers were blocked by BW into two blocks (18 pens; 12 steers/pen) and assigned to the same treatments used in Exp. 1. Daily DMI and carcass weight responded quadratically (P < .05), whereas ADG and ADG:DMI increased linearly (P < .04) with increasing degree of processing. Results suggest that the degree of corn processing influences serum insulin concentrations of feedlot steers; however, serum metabolites, urinary nitrogen composition, and carcass characteristics were generally not affected by degree of corn processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2464-2474
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000


  • Fattening
  • Grain
  • Insulin
  • Metabolites
  • Performance
  • Processing


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