Thumbnail Image

Effects of Roughage Source and Exercise During Receiving and Corn Processing Method During Finishing on the Health, Performance, and Carcass Characteristics of Beef Steers

Woolsoncroft, Mariah A.
The effects of roughage source and exercise on the health and performance of receiving calves were evaluated using 94 steers (initial BW = 250). Steers were allocated by BW to 1 of 4 treatments: (HAY) 30% hay DM or (HULLS) 15% cottonseed hulls and 15% soybean hulls DM and (EX) 529 m of exercise or (NEX) no exercise. There were no differences in BW or ADG (P ? 0.15) during the 56 d experiment. However, HULLS had reduced DMI from d 29-42, 43-56, and 0-56 (P ? 0.04). Throughout the experiment, G:F was increased for HULLS (P < 0.001) and EX (P = 0.02). On d 56, there was an interaction for both fecal score (FS) and fecal pH (FpH) with HAY + NEX having decreased FS and FpH (P < 0.01 and P = 0.05, respectively). There were no differences (P ? 0.26) among treatments for clinical health signs excluding severity scores. An interaction (P = 0.02) for severity score was present with HULLS + EX having increased severity scores. A second experiment, evaluated the effects of corn processing on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics. Eighty-four steers were fed 1 of 2 diets: steam-flaked corn (SFC) or crimped corn (CC). There were no differences in BW (P ? 0.15) or ADG (P ? 0.15) during the 156 d finishing experiment. Crimped corn calves had an increased DMI on d 0-56, 57-125, and 0-156 (P < 0.01). Flaked corn calves were more efficient (P = 0.04) on d 57-125. There were no differences (P ? 0.11) on carcass characteristics between treatments.