Effects of roughage source and concentration on intake and performance by finishing heifers

P. J. Defoor, M. L. Galyean, G. B. Salyer, G. A. Nunnery, C. H. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of roughage source and concentration on intake and performance by finishing heifers. In Exp. 1, 12 medium-framed beef heifers (average BW = 389 kg) were used in three simultaneous 4 x 4 Latin square intake trials to evaluate the effects of dietary NDF supply from alfalfa hay, sudan hay, wheat straw, or cottonseed hulls fed in each Latin square at 5, 10, or 15% of dietary DM. Within each roughage concentration, roughage NDF accounted for the majority of variation in NEg intake/kg of BW0.75 among the roughage sources. Averaged across roughage concentrations, NEg intake/kg of BW0.75 tended to be greater (P < 0.10) when heifers were fed cottonseed hulls, sudan hay, or wheat straw than when they were fed alfalfa. In Exp. 2, six medium-framed beef heifers (average BW = 273 kg) were used in a 3 x 3 Latin square design to determine whether diets containing 10% (DM basis) alfalfa, cottonseed hulls, or sudan silage differed in eating rate. Average DM eating rates did not differ (P > 0.10) among roughage sources, which we interpreted to suggest that 90% concentrate diets containing alfalfa, cottonseed hulls, and sudan silage do not differ in the amount of chewing required during eating. In Exp. 3, 105 medium-framed beef heifers (average BW = 275 kg) were used in a 140-d finishing trial to evaluate three methods of dietary roughage exchange. Alfalfa at 12.5% of the dietary DM (ALF12.5) was used as a standard, and cottonseed hulls and sudan silage were each fed at three different levels: exchanged with ALF12.5 on an equal percentage DM basis, an equal NDF basis, or an equal NDF basis, where only NDF from particles larger than 2.36 mm (retained NDF) were considered to contribute to the NDF. No differences (P > 0.10) in ADG, DMI, gain:feed ratio, or NEg intake/kg of BW0.75 were detected between alfalfa and cottonseed hulls exchanged on an equal NDF basis. For sudan silage, exchanging with ALF12.5 on an equal retained NDF basis resulted in no differences (P > 0.10) in ADG, DMI, or NEg intake/ kg of BW 0.75. These data provide a preliminary indication that depending on the roughage sources evaluated, roughage NDF content and(or) roughage NDF from particles larger than 2.36 mm might provide a useful index of roughage value in high-concentrate finishing diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1404
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume80
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Keywords

  • Concentration
  • Heifers
  • Roughage
  • Sources

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