Supplementation of dormant tallgrass-prairie forage: I. Influence of varying supplemental protein and(or) energy levels on forage utilization characteristics of beef steers in confinement.

T. DelCurto, R. C. Cochran, D. L. Harmon, A. A. Beharka, K. A. Jacques, G. Towne, E. S. Vanzant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of supplemental protein vs energy level on dormant forage intake and utilization. In Exp. 1, 16 ruminally cannulated steers were blocked by weight (avg wt = 242 kg) and assigned randomly to a negative control or to one of three isocaloric supplement treatments fed at .4% BW: 1) control, no supplement (NS); 2) 12% CP, low protein (LP); 3) 28% CP, moderate protein (MP); 4) 41% CP, high protein (HP). In Exp. 2 and 3, 16 ruminally cannulated steers were blocked by weight (avg wt = 332 kg, Exp. 2; 401 kg, Exp. 3) and assigned randomly to a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. The treatments contrasted low (LP) and high (HP) levels of supplemental protein (.66 g CP/kg BW vs 1.32 g CP/kg BW) with low (LE) and high (HE) levels of supplemental ME (9.2 kcal/kg BW vs 18.4 kcal/kg BW). In Exp. 1, forage DMI as well as ruminal DM and indigestible ADF fill at 4 h postfeeding were greater (P less than .10) with the MP and HP steers than with control and LP steers. Total DM digestibility increased (P less than .10) for supplemented steers (35.5% for control vs 47.3 for supplemented steers); however, LP depressed (P less than .10) NDF digestibility. In Exp. 2, forage DMI, indigestible ADF flow and liquid flow were depressed (P less than .10) in LP-HE supplemented steers. In Exp. 3, HP steers had greater (P less than .10) forage DMI, indigestible ADF fill values (4 h postfeeding), liquid volume and tended (P = .11) to have greater ruminal DM fill (4 h postfeeding). In summary, increased levels of supplemental protein increased intake and utilization of dormant tallgrass-prairie forage (less than 3% CP). Increasing supplemental energy without adequate protein availability was associated with depressed intake and digestibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-531
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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