Performance of Steers Fed a Broiler Litter-Corn Mixture on Endophyte-Infested and Noninfested Tall Fescue

G. E. Aiken, D. M. Ball, E. L. Piper, C. P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Poor weight gain of cattle grazing endophyte-infested tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and poor persistence of grazed endophyte-free tall fescue have limited their use in stocker production systems. A grazing study was conducted to determine whether feeding broiler litter and corn (Zea mays L.) can provide cost-effective enhancement of steer performance on infested and noninfested tall fescue. Treatments of either free-choice feeding of broiler litter-corn (1:1; as fed) or pasture-only were imposed on steers grazing infested and noninfested stands of 'Kentucky-31' tall fescue. Feeding broiler litter-corn increased (P<0.001) ADG and gain per acre for infested, but not (P>0.10) noninfested tall fescue. Furthermore, ADG and gain per hectare for the broiler litter-corn treatment on infested pastures were similar to those observed for noninfested pastures. Steers fed broiler litter-corn on infested tall fescue had lower serum prolactin (P<0.01) relative to those on noninfested tall fescue. Approximately 70% of the steers fed broiler litter-corn on infested tall fescue had rough or transitional haircoat ratings, whereas 85% of the steers on the pasture-only treatment for noninfested tall fescue had sleek haircoats. Cost of corn per incremental increase in ADG was cost-effective for most cattle markets if cost per metric ton was less than $165. Free-choice feeding of broiler litter-corn to steers on infested tall fescue can reduce the severity of fescue toxicosis and enhance weight gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998

Keywords

  • Animal Gain
  • Broiler Litter
  • Cattle
  • Fescue Toxicosis
  • Festuca arundinacea

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