Effect of breed, gender, housing system and dietary crude protein content on performance of finishing beef cattle fed maize-silage-based diets

Juniper, D.T.; Bryant, M.J.; Beever, D.E.; Fisher, A.V.

Animal An International Journal of Animal Bioscience 1(5): 771-779


ISSN/ISBN: 1751-7311
PMID: 22444477
DOI: 10.1017/s175173110770352x
Accession: 015591194

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Maize silage-based diets with three dietary crude protein (CP) supplements were offered to 96 finishing cattle of contrasting breed (Holstein Friesian (HF) v. Simmental × HF (SHF)) and gender (bull v. steer) housed in two types of feeding system (group fed v. individually fed). The three protein supplements differed either in CP or protein degradability (degradable (LUDP) v. rumen undegradable (HUDP)) and provided CP concentrations of 142 (Con), 175 (LUDP) and 179 (HUDP) g/kg dry matter (DM) respectively, with ratios of degradable to undegradable of 3.0, 1.4 and 0.9:1 for diets Con, LUDP and HUDP, respectively. DM intakes were marginally higher (P = 0.102) for LUDP when compared with Con and HUDP. Rates of daily live-weight gain (DLWG) were higher (P = 0.005) in LUDP and HUDP when compared with Con. HF had higher DM intakes than SHF although this did not result in any improvement in HF DLWG. Bulls had significantly better DM intakes, DLWG and feed conversion efficiency than steers. Conformation scores were better in SHF than HF (P < 0.001) and fat scores lower in bulls than steers (P < 0.001). There was a number of first order interactions established between dietary treatment, breed, gender and housing system with respect to rates of gain and carcass fat scores.