Three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of an Aspergillus oryzae extract containing α-amylase activity on performance and carcass characteristics of finishing beef cattle. In Exp. 1, 120 crossbred steers were used in a randomized complete block design to evaluate the effects of roughage source (alfalfa hay vs. cottonseed hulls) and supplemental α-amylase at 950 dextrinizing units (DU)/kg of DM. Significant roughage source × α-amylase interactions (P < 0.05) were observed for performance. In steers fed cottonseed hulls, supplemental α-amylase increased ADG through d 28 and 112 and tended (P < 0.15) to increase ADG in all other periods. The increases in ADG were related to increased DMI and efficiency of gain during the initial 28-d period but were primarily related to increased DMI as the feeding period progressed. Supplemental α-amylase increased (P - 0.02) the LM area across both roughage sources. In Exp. 2, 96 crossbred heifers were used in a randomized complete block design with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments to evaluate the effects of corn processing (dry cracked vs. high moisture) and supplemental α-amylase concentration (0, 580, or 1,160 DU/kg of DM). Alphaamylase supplementation increased DMI (P = 0.05) and ADG (P = 0.03) during the initial 28 d on feed and carcass-adjusted ADG (P = 0.04) across corn processing methods. Longissimus muscle area was greatest (quadratic effect, P = 0.04), and yield grade was least (quadratic effect, P = 0.02) in heifers fed 580 DU of α-amylase/kg of DM across corn processing methods. In Exp. 3, 56 crossbred steers were used in a randomized complete block design to evaluate the effects of supplemental α-amylase (930 DU/kg of DM) on performance when DMI was restricted to yield a programmed ADG. Alphaamylase supplementation did not affect performance when DMI was restricted. We conclude that dietary αamylase supplementation of finishing beef diets may result in increased ADG through increased DMI under certain dietary conditions and that further research is warranted to explain its mode of action and interactions with dietary ingredients.
- Aspergillus oryzae
- Beef cattle