Supplementation of energy and or protein to steers grazing summer veld
South African Journal of Animal Science 6(2): 59-66
ISSN/ISBN: 0375-1589 Accession: 006543426
Friesland steers (40) 12-18 mo. old were divided into 4 groups and received the following treatments (quantities of supplement per animal per day): Group 1 (control), no supplementary feeding; Group 2, 1.36 kg maize meal; Group 3, 1.36 kg of a mixture consisting of equal parts of maize meal and a high protein concentrate; and Group 4, 1.36 kg of a high protein concentrate. The greatest response to supplementation in respect to average daily mass gains was obtained with 1.36 kg of high protein concentrate and the poorest response with maize meal. The increased average daily mass gains of Groups 2, 3 and 4 was achieved with 8.86, 4.10 and 3.50 kg supplement for each additional 1 kg live mass gain, respectively. In spite of significant effects from supplementation on average daily mass gains in 2 of 3 yr final live mass was not significantly influenced. Grading of carcasses was also not improved by strategic supplementation. A 90 day fattening period after the summer grazing period improved the grading of carcasses from an initial Grade 3 to Prime.