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Responses to various protein and energy supplements by steers fed low-quality tropical hay. 1. Comparison of response surfaces for young steers

McLennan, S. R. and Bolam, M. J. and Kidd, J. F. and Chandra, K. A. and Poppi, D. P. (2016) Responses to various protein and energy supplements by steers fed low-quality tropical hay. 1. Comparison of response surfaces for young steers. Animal Production Science . ISSN 1836-0939

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN15659

Abstract

Response curves were established for different supplements, offered at intakes ranging from 0 to 20 g/kg liveweight (W).day to young Bos indicus crossbred steers fed low-quality Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay ad libitum in two pen experiments. Supplements included protein meals of varying rumen-degradability (cottonseed meal (CSM) or fishmeal), as well as ‘energy sources’ comprising grains of high and low ruminal starch degradability (barley and sorghum) and a highly fermentable sugar source (molasses), with all diets adjusted for rumen-degradable nitrogen and mineral content. Unsupplemented steers gained 0.08 and 0.15 kg/day, in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Growth of steers increased linearly with intake of ‘energy source’ supplements in increasing order of molasses, sorghum and barley (all differences P < 0.05). Steer growth rate also increased linearly with fishmeal, albeit over a narrow intake range (0–4.1 g/kg W.day), whereas the response with CSM was asymptotic, showing a steep response at low intake before levelling at ~1.2 kg/day. All supplement types were associated with a linear reduction in hay intake by the steers (energy substitution) where the reduction was greater (P < 0.05) for barley and molasses (not different) than for sorghum (P < 0.05), and for fishmeal compared with CSM (P < 0.05). In concurrent metabolism studies with the same rations, organic matter digestibility of the total ration (561–578 g/kg DM, unsupplemented) was increased linearly by barley and molasses (both P < 0.05) but was unaffected by CSM and sorghum supplements. The efficiency of microbial protein synthesis in steers increased linearly, from 91 g microbial crude protein/kg digestible organic matter (unsupplemented), in both molasses and CSM-supplemented steers, with the trend for a higher response to molasses (P = 0.05), and appeared most closely related to digestible organic matter intake. The response curves from these studies provide the practical framework upon which to formulate rations for cattle grazing low-quality forages.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Deposited On:01 Jun 2016 07:01
Last Modified:01 Jun 2016 07:01

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