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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Livestock and Range Research Laboratory (LARRL)

Title: A Self-Fed, Small-Package Protein Supplement for Post-Weaning Beef Cows

item Waterman, Richard

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2009
Publication Date: June 16, 2009
Citation: Endecott, R.L., Waterman, R.C. 2009. A SELF-FED, SMALL-PACKAGE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT FOR POST-WEANING BEEF COWS. Meeting Abstract #65. Journal of Animal Science 87(E-Suppl 3): 157.

Interpretive Summary: abstract only

Technical Abstract: A 2-year supplementation study conducted at Miles City, MT from mid-October to mid-December in 2007 and 2008 evaluated responses of beef cows (n = 141 in 2007, n = 138 in 2008; avg BW = 546 ± 5.2 kg) grazing dormant native range (8.6% CP, 57% NDF, 74% IVDMD) to two different supplementation strategies. Each year, cows were stratified by age and weight at weaning and then assigned to one of two supplements: 1) self-fed loose mineral mix (MIN) or 2) self-fed mineral plus high-bypass protein sources (MIN+PRO; 50% mineral mix, 25% feather meal, 25% fish meal). Target intakes were 70 g/d for MIN and 140 g/d for MIN+PRO. Cows were weighed and hip height and girth measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the 60-d studies. Weight-to-height and weight-to-girth ratio changes were calculated. Data were analyzed with supplement, cow age (2, 3, and 4+), year, and their interactions in the model. In 2007, cows fed MIN consumed 28 g/d and MIN+PRO cows consumed 93 g/d, which was lower than the target amount for both supplements. In 2008, MIN cows again failed to consume the target amount (13 g/d), while MIN+PRO cows consumed just over target amount (160 g/d). Cows lost similar (P = 0.70) amounts of weight during the study regardless of supplement treatment (-22 and -25 ± 5 kg for MIN and MIN+PRO, respectively). Likewise, weight-to-height ratio change (-0.25 and -0.25 ± 0.04) and weight-to-girth ratio change (-0.10 and -0.12 ± 0.02) were similar (P >= 0.60) for MIN and MIN+PRO cows, respectively. Year × cow age interactions (P <= 0.08) were observed for weight change and weight-to-height ratio change. Two- and 3-yr-old cows lost less weight in 2008 than in 2007, while mature cows lost similar amounts of weight in both years. All cows exhibited less change in weight-to-height ratio in 2008 compared to 2007, with the difference between years most pronounced in younger cows. Protein supplementation at this level did not impact cow performance; however, forage quality was higher than expected due to fall precipitation in both years, which may have contributed to the lack of response to supplementation with the mineral-protein mix.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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