Location: Livestock Nutrient Management ResearchTitle: Effects of the degree of steam flaking and dietary concentration of wet distillers grains on growth performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle
|KOCH, BRANDON - West Texas A & M University|
|COLE, NOEL - Retired ARS Employee|
|PONCE, CHRISTIAN - West Texas A & M University|
|BAILEY, ERIC - West Texas A & M University|
|BROWN, MICHAEL - West Texas A & M University|
Submitted to: Applied Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2020
Publication Date: 12/2/2020
Citation: Koch, B.M., Cole, N.A., Ponce, C.H., Bailey, E.A., Brown, M.S. 2020. Effects of the degree of steam flaking and dietary concentration of wet distillers grains on growth performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle. Applied Animal Science. 36(6):808-819. https://doi.org/10.15232/aas.2020-02080.
Interpretive Summary: Corn is a primary ingredient in Southern High Plains beef cattle feedyard diets. Corn is typically processed by steam-flaking to improve digestibility and animal performance. As the degree of steam flaking increases, the bulk density of the processed corn decreases. Wet distillers grains, a byproduct of the corn ethanol industry, is often supplemented to corn diets. However, the combined effects of corn processing and west distillers grain content is unknown. Scientists from USDA-ARS (Bushland, Texas) and West Texas A and M University (Canyon, Texas) conducted animal feeding experiments to measure the combined effects of corn processing and wet distillers grain content. Steam-flaked corn and wet distillers grains were fed to 335 steers and heifers at two corn processing levels and three wet distillers grain contents. Optimal animal performance was achieved when steam-flaked corn was processed to a bulk density of 25 pounds per bushel, and wet distillers grain was added at 15 percent of dry matter content.
Technical Abstract: Objectives The objective was to determine the effects of degree of steam flaking of corn (SFC) on performance of finishing cattle fed diets containing wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS). Materials and Methods Crossbred steers (n = 214: initial BW = 357 kg) and heifers (n = 121: initial BW = 323 kg) were randomly assigned to 54 pens and 6 diets containing 0, 15, or 30% WDGS and corn steam flaked to either 321 or 270 g/L bulk density (25 or 21 lb/bu, respectively) in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement. Results and Discussion There were no interactions between WDGS concentration and SFC bulk density for growth performance (P > 0.48), and growth performance was not influenced by the degree of steam flaking of corn (P > 0.29). Dry matter intake (P < 0.15) and ADG (P < 0.06) tended to respond quadratically to dietary WDGS. Gain efficiency tended (P = 0.15) to decrease linearly as dietary WDGS concentration increased. Carcass characteristics were not affected by SFC density but hot carcass weight (P < 0.12), dressing percentage (P < 0.01), and yield grade (P < 0.14) were affected by WDGS concentration. Decreasing bulk density of SFC tended (P < 0.11) to increase the frequency of liver abscesses. Implications and Applications Results suggest optimal performance is achieved in SFC-based finishing diets when WDGS is fed at 15% of DM and that increasing the degree of steam flaking of corn to less than 321 g/L does not improve cattle performance in diets containing WDGS.