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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403439

Research Project: Environmental and Management Influences on Animal Productivity and Well-Being Phenotypes

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: The effects of roughage neutral detergent fiber level and bulk density of steam-flaked corn on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and liver abscesses in finishing beef steers

item MCDANIEL, ZACH - Texas Tech University
item GALYEAN, MICHAEL - Texas Tech University
item Broadway, Paul
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Sanchez, Nicole
item HANRATTY, ASHLEE - Texas Tech University
item HOFFMAN, ASHLEY - Texas Tech University
item DORNBACH, COLTEN - Texas Tech University
item LINE, DALTON - Texas Tech University
item SMOCK, TAYLOR - Texas Tech University
item HALES, KRISTIN - Texas Tech University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration from alfalfa hay and bulk density of steam-flaked corn (SFC) on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and liver abscesses in finishing beef steers. Crossbred beef steers (n = 214; 60 pens; 10 pens/treatment; initial BW 417 ± 11.9 kg) were randomly assigned to treatments and fed an average of 112 days. The treatments consisted of differing NDF concentrations from alfalfa hay (3%, 4.5%, or 6%) and 335 g/L or 425 g/L of steam-flaked corn (SFC; 33 or 69% starch availability, respectively). Steers were harvested at a commercial abattoir where carcass data were collected and livers were scored. Continuous data were analyzed in PROC MIXED using SAS v9.4 and pen was the experimental unit. Quality grade distribution and liver scores were analyzed as a binomial proportion using the PROC GLIMMIX. No interactions between roughage NDF and bulk density of SFC were noted (P > 0.18), therefore main effects will be presented. No differences were noted in live and carcass-adjusted growth performance throughout the study (P = 0.28), except for an increase in dry matter intake for steers fed 6% roughage NDF than 3 or 4.5% from d 70 to 105 (P = 0.02). Marbling score was greater in steers fed 3% (P = 0.05) than 4.5 or 6% roughage NDF, and steers fed 335 g/L SFC tended to have a larger longissimus muscle area (P = 0.10). Presence of LA at harvest were 17.9% and 23.4% less (P < 0.01) in the steers fed 4.5 and 6% roughage NDF respectively, than 3% roughage NDF. Similarly, the presence of A+ abscesses was greater in steers fed 3% roughage NDF than those fed 4.5 or 6% roughage NDF (P = 0.03). Likewise, liver abscesses were 11.7% less in steers fed 425 g/L SFC than 335 g/L SFC (P = 0.05). The results of this study suggests that increasing roughage NDF and bulk density of SFC are dietary strategies to decrease the presence of liver abscesses at harvest without negatively affecting growth performance.