Location: Forage and Livestock Production ResearchTitle: Performance of Stocker Cattle Fed Hay and Protein Supplements during the Winter and Grazed on Wheat Pasture during the Spring Author
Submitted to: Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2009
Publication Date: 7/20/2009
Citation: Phillips, W.A., Bandyk, C.A., Geary, T.W. 2009. Performance of Stocker Cattle Fed Hay and Protein Supplements during the Winter and Grazed on Wheat Pasture during the Spring. J. Anim. Sci. Vol. 87, E-Suppl. 2. 225. Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.
Technical Abstract: The southern Great Plains region perennial warm- and annual cool-season grasses are used to grow stocker cattle for the US beef industry. In the fall, when calves are readily available, producers may purchase not only those needed for winter grazing, but also calves to be used the following spring when stocking rate is greater. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate supplementation strategies used to winter stocker cattle on dormant warm-season grasses and the impact of these strategies on subsequent body weight gains during the graze-out period on spring wheat. Spring born calves (n = 152, BW = 219 kg) weaned in the fall were randomly assigned 1 of eight 3.2-ha pastures of dormant warm-season grasses in a completely random design. Steers had ad libitum access to hay (8.8% CP, 70% NDF, and 40% ADF) all winter. Four pastures were limit fed a dry supplement (20% CP plant protein based, 132 mg of lasalocid/kg) and four pastures had ad libitum access to a liquid supplement (24% CP, 17% CP equivalents from NPN, 63% DM, 165 mg of lassalocid/kg) in lick-wheel tanks. Pasture was the experimental unit and data were analyzed using GLM procedures with supplement type as the only source of variation. Average daily gains for the 98-d wintering period were not different (P = 0.96) between supplement groups (0.44 ± 0.04 kg). Daily supplement intake (as fed) was similar (P=0.21) between the dry and liquid supplements (mean = 1.45 kg/d), but steers fed dry supplement had 12% less (P = 0.7) CP intake (0.30 vs 0.34 kg/d) and 16% less (P = 0.07) lassalocid intake (200 vs 232 mg/d) than steers fed liquid supplement. During the subsequent 43-d graze-out period on winter wheat, ADG did not differ (P = 0.30) between the supplement groups, but were greater (P = 0.01) than for steers (n= 32) that had grazed winter wheat all winter (1.15 vs 1.02 kg). Feeding a dry or liquid supplement to calves during the wintered resulted in similar performance and some compensatory gain during the spring as compared to calves winter on wheat. The cost of supplemental feed, labor, and the value of steers in the fall versus the spring would dictate the economic feasibility of purchasing calves in the fall and wintering them for use the following spring as opposed to purchasing animals as needed.