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Influence of genotype and diet on steer performance, manure odor, and carriage of pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. I. Animal performance

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Although Brahman crosses constitute a large portion of US beef cattle, little information is available on their response to diverse feed resources compared with Bos taurus steers. Thus, the objectives were to evaluate genotype and diet effects on steer performance during the growing period and subsequent response to a high grain diet during the finishing period. Fifty-one steers [0 (15), [fraction one-quarter] (20), [fraction one-half] (7), and [fraction three-quarters] Brahman (9), with the remaining proportion being MARC III] were allotted to 8 pens. Beginning on December 2, steers were individually fed chopped bromegrass hay (n = 26; DM = 85%, CP = 9.5%, ME = 2.19 Mcal/kg) or a corn silage-based diet (n = 25; DM = 51%, CP = 11.9%, ME = 2.75 Mcal/kg) for 119 d. All steers were then fed a high corn diet (DM = 79%, CP = 11.7%, ME = 3.08 Mcal/kg) to a target BW of 560 kg (176 d). Data were analyzed by ANOVA, with genotype, growing diet, and the 2-way interaction included. The interaction was not significant (P > 0.25). The MARC III and [fraction one-half] Brahman steers weighed more (P < 0.01) than [fraction one-quarter] or [fraction three-quarters] Brahman steers initially and at the end of the growing period. Weight of bromegrass-fed (325 kg) steers was less than that of corn silage-fed (384 kg) steers at the end of the growing period. Steer ADG and intake of DM, CP, and ME were less (P = 0.087 to 0.001) for [fraction one-quarter] and [fraction three-quarters] Brahman than for 0 or [fraction one-half] Brahman steers during growing, finishing, and total, but efficiency of gain did not differ (P > 0.10). Carcass weight, marbling score, quality grade (P < 0.05), and kidney fat (P = 0.06) differed among genotypes. Daily DMI (6.91 vs. 7.06 kg) was similar, but CP (0.66 vs. 0.84 kg) and ME (15.2 vs. 19.4 Mcal) intake of bromegrass fed was less (P = 0.001) than those of corn silage-fed steers. Values for DMI/gain (22.3 vs. 7.43 kg/kg), CP intake/gain (2.13 vs. 0.88 kg/kg), and ME intake/gain (48.8 vs. 20.4 Mcal/kg) were greater (P < 0.001) in bromegrass-fed than corn silage-fed steers. Over the total study, ADG was lower (0.96 vs. 1.01 kg), and DMI (7.82 vs. 7.19 kg), DMI/gain (8.21 vs. 7.10 kg/kg), and ME intake/gain (22.6 vs. 20.9 Mcal/kg) were greater (P < 0.05) in bromegrass-fed than in corn silage-fed steers. Carcass weight, dressing percent, adjusted backfat, and yield grade (P < 0.05) were greater for corn silage-fed than for bromegrass-fed steers. Feed intake and performance, but not efficiency, differed among these genotypes. Compensatory performance during finishing was insufficient to overcome reduced performance during the growing period.
Ferrell, C.L. , Berry, E.D. , Freetly, H.C. , Miller, D.N.
Includes references
Journal of animal science 2006 Sept., v. 84, no. 9
American Society of Animal Science
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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