Source and level of energy supplementation for yearling cattle fed ammoniated hay

J. B. Royes, W. F. Brown, F. G. Martin, D. B. Bates

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19 Scopus citations


Brahman x British crossbred steers were used in growth and digestion trials to evaluate the response of source (corn, sugar cane molasses, or soybean hulls) and feeding rate (0, 1.4, or 2.8 kg DM per steer daily in the growth trials; 0, 15, or 30% of the ration DM in the digestion trial) of energy supplementation in cattle fed ammoniated (4% of forage DM) stargrass (Cynodon nlemfuensis Vanderyst var. nlemfuensis) hay. Cattle on all treatments were fed 0.5 kg cottonseed meal daily. In the growth trials, steers grazed dormant bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) pasture. Increasing the levels of supplementation decreased hay intake but increased total dietary intake for all diets (P < 0.07). Daily gain and feed efficiency of steers were improved (P < 0.03) with supplementation. Steers supplemented with corn or soybean hulls at 2.8 kg DM/d had a higher ADG (0.92 kg) and gain/feed (0.103) than steers supplemented with molasses (0.78 kg, 0.08, respectively) at the same level. Seven crossbred steers (200 kg) were used in a five-period digestion trial to evaluate apparent OM, NDF, ADF, and hemicellulose digestibility. Apparent OM digestibility of all diets increased linearly (P = 0.02) as the level of supplementation increased. Apparent NDF and ADF digestibility decreased (P < 0.03) as the level of supplementation with corn or molasses increased, whereas increasing the level of soybean hulls in the diet increased (P < 0.06) apparent NDF and ADF digestibility. Four ruminally fistulated crossbred steers (472 kg) were used in a 4 x 4 latin square design to investigate ruminal characteristics with energy supplementation at 30% of ration DM. Ruminal pH in steers supplemented with soybean hulls or corn declined after feeding. Ruminal pH decreased more rapidly with corn supplementation and remained below 6.2 for a longer period of time than with the other diets. Ruminal pH did not change within 24 h after feeding for steers fed the control or molasses diets. No change in total VFA concentration was observed in steers fed molasses or corn. Total ruminal VFA concentration in steers supplemented with soybean hulls increased initially after feeding and then declined within 24 h after feeding. Soybean hulls produced fewer negative associative effects than corn when fed with ammoniated stargrass hay at 2.8 kg DM/d. The reduced gain/feed of steers supplemented with molasses compared to soybean hulls or corn indicates that molasses was not utilized as efficiently as the other energy sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2001


  • Ammoniated Feeds
  • Cattle
  • Digestibility
  • Maize
  • Molasses
  • Soybean Husks


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