Effects of barley based diets with three different rumen degradable protein balances on performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot steers
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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary optimal or suboptimal rumen available protein to energy ratios generated by substituting barley grain by wheat –based dried distillers’ grains with soluble (wDDGS) on finishing feedlot cattle performance. Three hundred crossbred steers were randomly assigned to twelve pens (25 heads in each pen) and fed one of three grain based finishing diets with: (i) negative rumen degradable protein balance (DPB; -12 g/kg DM); (ii) neutral DPB (0 g/kg DM); and (iii) positive DPB (14 g/kg DM). Ration with negative DPB (conventional feed) contained 88.3% rolled barley grain, 7.0% supplement and 4.7% barley silage. For the rations with neutral - and positive DPB, the barley grain was replaced by wDDGS at 11 or 22% of the diet, respectively. Over the 131-d finishing period, animal performance and carcass traits were similar among steers fed either of 3 finishing diets. In conclusion, barley grain in common feedlot diets can be substituted by wDDGS up to 22%, without altering steer performance and carcass characteristics.
Ruminal and metabolizable protein
wheat-based dried distillers grain
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