Growth performance feed intake and nutrient digestibility by beef calves fed sweet sorghum silage corn silage and fescue hay
Adewakun, L.O.; Famuyiwa, A.O.; Felix, A.; Omole, T.A.
Journal of Animal Science 67(5): 1341-1349
Forty weanling Angus and Hereford calves averaging 159 kg were assigned randomly to 1) corn silage (CS), 2) Brandes sweet sorghum silage (BS), 3) Theis sweet sorghum silage (TS) or 4) fescue hay (FH) treatments. Animals were group-fed ad libitum their respective diets for 129 d. Intake of DM, CP and gross energy (GE), as well as feed conversion, was comparable among treatments (P > .05). Average daily gain (ADG) was greater (P < .05) for cattle fed BS and CS than for those fed TS or FH. Apparent digestibilities of DM were not different (P > .05) among silages, whereas FH was lowest in DM digestibility. Organic matter digestibilities were greater (P < .05) for BS, followed by TS, CS and FH. Digestibilities of CP and ether extract (EE) were greater (P < .05) for steers fed BS and TS than for those fed CS diets. Gross energy digestibilities also were greater (P < .05) in BS-fed than in CS-fed animals. Steers fed silage diets had greater digestibilities of EE and GE than did those fed the FH diet. Steers fed the BS diet digested more (P < .05) NDF, ADF, hemicellulose and cellulose than those fed TS or FH, but were equal (NDF and ADF) or superior (hemicellulose and cellulose) to CS-fed steers in digestibilities of these cell wall constituents. More (P < .05) N was retained in sorghum silage groups than in CS or FH groups. Brandes sweet sorghum silage is a suitable substitute for CS for growing calves.