Evaluation of inclusion of hay, dampened hay, and silage in receiving diets of newly weaned beef calves

E. J. Blom, W. W. Gentry, R. H. Pritchard, K. E. Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of receiving-diet roughage form and source on growth performance of newly received calves. Materials and Methods: An oat crop was harvested as hay or silage and fed as oat hay (OH), dampened oat hay (OHW; 4:1 hay:water), or oat silage (SIL) as the roughage source in soybean hull–based receiving diets to 7-mo-old steer calves across 2 yr (replicates per treatment: yr 1 = 6; yr 2 = 7). Results and Discussion: No differences in cumulative ADG (P = 0.24) or G:F (P = 0.47) were observed, but OH steers consumed less DM (P = 0.02) in yr 1. Cumulatively, no differences in ADG were observed in yr 2 (P = 0.21); however, SIL-fed steers consumed less DM (P < 0.01) than OH or OHW steers, which resulted in greater G:F (P = 0.01). The magnitude of change in proportion of larger particles (i.e., feed particles retained in a 12.7-mm screen) in the bunk from feed delivery to after the meal was almost 4-fold greater for OH than SIL in yr 1 (P = 0.04) and 3.5-fold greater in yr 2 (P = 0.05). As batch fraction (i.e., scale of 0 to 1 representing from which portion of the batch each pen's allotment of feed was derived) progressed, the proportion of larger particles delivered increased (P < 0.01). Implications and Applications: Oat forage in silage form did not adversely affect acceptance of receiving diets for calves, and forage as silage resulted in more uniform feed mixing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Animal Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • cattle
  • diet mixing
  • particle size
  • roughage source
  • silage


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