Section 3
Chapter 2,346

Dietary electrolyte balance effects on performance and metabolic characteristics in growing steers

Ross, J.G.; Spears, J.W.; Garlich, J.D.

Journal of Animal Science 72(7): 1842-1848


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812
PMID: 7928764
DOI: 10.2527/1994.7271842x
Accession: 002345232

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The effects of dietary electrolyte balance (DEB; mEq of Na + K - Cl/100 g of DM) on performance and acid-base status of growing cattle consuming a corn silage-based diet were established using 120 Angus (n = 60) and Angus crossbred (n = 60) steers (247 +/- 2.4 kg). Treatments consisting of 0, 15, 30, or 45 mEq of DEB/100 g of DM were obtained by varying NH4Cl and NaHCO3. Average daily gain showed a linear increase (P < .05) with increased DEB for the first 28 d and a quadratic response (P < .05) for the remainder of the 84-d study. Average daily feed intake was not affected by DEB the first 28 d. However, feed intake over the entire feeding period showed a linear increase with increasing DEB (P < .01). On d 28, plasma Na, K, and Mg were not affected by DEB, whereas Ca followed a quadratic pattern (P < .10). On d 84, plasma Na and Mg decreased linearly with increasing DEB. Plasma Cl concentrations decreased linearly (P < .01) with increased DEB on d 28 and 84. On d 28 arterial blood pH and HCO3 increased linearly (P < .05) with increased DEB, whereas ionized Ca, pCO2, and pO2 were unchanged. On d 84, arterial blood pH (P < .10), HCO3 (P < .05), and ionized Ca (P < .10) increased quadratically, whereas pO2 and pCO2 were not affected by treatment. Ruminal pH increased linearly (P < .05) with increased DEB on d 28 but showed no differences on d 84. These data indicate that DEB affects performance and systemic values in growing feedlot cattle. A DEB in the range of 15 to 30 mEq seemed to provide normal homeostasis of growing steers fed a corn silage-based diet.

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