Effects of forage and protein source on feedlot performance and carcass traits of Holstein and crossbred beef steers
Comerford, J.W.; House, R.B.; Harpster, H.W.; Henning, W.R.; Cooper, J.B.
Journal of Animal Science 70(4): 1022-1031
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812 PMID: 1582930 DOI: 10.2527/1992.7041022x
Fifty-eight Holstein and 58 crossbred beef steers were individually fed one of four isonitrogenous diets to evaluate the effects of forage source (corn silage and alfalfa haylage) and protein source (soybean meal and fish meal) on feedlot performance. Phase 1 diets (up to 354 kg of BW) were 40% forage and 60% concentrates and were fed for 70 to 136 d (depending on diet and breed group). Phase 2 diets (354 kg of BW until slaughter) were 20% forage and 80% concentrates and were fed for 127 to 150 d (depending on diet and breed group). Slaughter end points were .6 cm of 12th rib fat for Holsteins and 1.0 cm of rib fat for crossbreds using real-time ultrasonic estimates. The steers were fed for a maximum of 330 d each year. Forage source was a significant component of variation for most growth, efficiency, and carcass traits. Holstein and crossbred steers fed alfalfa haylage had significantly lower average daily gain, feed efficiency, dressing percentage, and empty body fat and required more days on feed to reach slaughter end points, but had higher total feed energy intake available for production. Steers fed corn silage diets had significantly greater energetic efficiency (P less than .05) than those fed alfalfa haylage, due to increased use of ME to produce fat in the carcass. Protein type did not influence gain, feed or energetic efficiency, energy intake, or most carcass traits. A significant protein system x forage source interaction among the four diets was detected for crossbred steers fed corn silage and fish meal, for which there was significantly greater feed conversion with lower energy intake above maintenance, possibly due to better fiber digestion and(or) amino acid flow to the lower tract. Alfalfa haylage plus soybean meal diets decreased (P less than .05) the percentage of Holsteins grading USDA Choice or higher. These results indicate that corn silage, because of greater energy concentration, was a more desirable forage in feedlot diets composed of less than or equal to 40% forage and that protein type (soybean meal and fish meal) in growing diets is not an important factor in feedlot performance or carcass traits of Holstein or crossbred steers that are fed these diets.