Submitted to: Arkansas Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Davis, T.E., Kegley, E.B., Coffey, K.P., Coblentz, W.K., Ogden, R.K., Hornsby, J.P. 2006. Effects of Grain By-Products as Supplements for Stocker Cattle Grazing Bermudagrass. Research Series 545. Arkansas Animal Science Department Report. 9:120-123. Interpretive Summary: Growing cattle often require supplementation with energy sources to maintain weight gains while grazing bermudagrass, particularly during mid to late summer. Two experiments were conducted to compare corn, dried distillers’ grains, and pelleted soybean hulls as supplements for growing cattle grazing bermudagrass pastures. Supplementation with corn or dried distiller’s grains at a rate of 0.5% of body weight improved average daily gains relative to supplementation with pelleted soybean hulls. However, ruminal digestibility of bermudagrass was not affected by these supplements in a second experiment when these supplements were fed at the same rate of bodyweight daily. While corn and dried distiller’s grains exhibited some advantages over pelleted soybean hulls, all supplements produced desirable rates of gain for growing beef cattle grazing bermudagrass pastures in Arkansas.
Technical Abstract: Two experiments were conducted to compare corn, dried distillers' grains (DDG), and pelleted soybean hulls (SH) as supplements for cattle grazing bermudagrass. In Exp. 1, 66 crossbred steers (675 ± 7.1 lb) were stratified by weight and allotted randomly to six 6-acre bermudagrass pastures for a 107-d study. One of three supplement treatments (corn, DDG, or SH) was assigned randomly to each pasture group and was offered at 0.5% (as fed) of BW. Calves were weighed at 28-d intervals and supplement was adjusted after each weigh day. In Exp. 2, five ruminally-cannulated steers grazed bermudagrass pasture and were individually fed supplements (corn, DDG, or SH) at 0.5% as fed of BW in a 3 x 3 replicated incomplete Latin-square design with a 14-d adaptation and a 5-d sampling period. In Exp. 1, supplementation with DDG and corn increased (P < 0.04) ADG compared to supplementation with SH (1.96, 1.92, and 1.63 lb for DDG, corn, and SH, respectively). In Exp. 2, ruminal DM degradation measures of bermudagrass were not affected by type of supplementation. The potential extent of digestion for DDG (93%) was lower than for corn (97%, P = 0.01) and SH (96%, P = 0.06). Supplementation with corn or DDG at 0.5% of BW improved gain of stocker cattle grazing bermudagrass compared to supplementation with SH, but these differences were not explained by differences in bermudagrass ruminal DM degradation measurements.