Performance, digestion, and mastication efficiency of Holstein steers fed whole or processed corn in limit- or full-fed growing-finishing systems
Reinhardt, C.D.; Brandt, R.T.; Eck, T.P.; Titgemeyer, E.C.
Journal of Animal Science 76(7): 1778-1788
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812 PMID: 9690632 DOI: 10.2527/1998.7671778x
We conducted two trials to examine the effects of restricted vs full feeding and of grain processing method on feedlot performance, digestion, and mastication efficiency by Holstein steers in different growing-finishing systems. In Trial 1, 272 Holstein steers (177 +/- 9.98 kg) were blocked by weight and assigned to growing phase diets based on corn silage (SIL), steam-flaked corn that was either limit-fed (SFLF) or full-fed (SFFF), or whole corn that was limit-fed (WCLF) or full-fed (WCFF). Limit-fed steers were fed at levels predicted to allow daily gain of 1 kg/d. On d 112, all steers were switched to WCFF or SFFF diets until the mean BW of each treatment group was 545 kg. Overall, steers fed WCLF and SFLF during the growing phase and finished on SF were 8.1 and 6.6% more efficient at converting dietary ME to gain (P = .02 and .04, respectively) than steers in the SFFF group. In Trial 2, three ruminally and duodenally cannulated Holstein steers were fed whole (WC) and rolled corn (RC) diets at FF and LF intake in an incomplete replicated 2 x 2 switchback design. Ad libitum access to feed resulted in higher (P = .02) ruminal starch digestibility than did limit-feeding, and calves had higher total tract DM (P = .05) and starch (P = .03) digestion at the heavier BW. Limit-feeding whole corn resulted in increased particle size of masticate (P = .06) compared with full-feeding whole corn. Because of apparent differences in mastication efficiency between limit-fed and full-fed calves, grain processing method during periods of restriction and compensatory growth may be important considerations for managing growth in systems that incorporate limit-feeding.