Influence of substituting steam-flaked corn for dry rolled corn on feedlot cattle growth performance when cattle are allowed either ad libitum or restricted access to the finishing diet

  • Gonzalez-Vizcarra, Victor Manuel ;
  • Plascencia, Alejandro ;
  • Ramos-Avina, Daniel ;
  • Zinn, Richard Avery
  • Received : 2017.03.13
  • Accepted : 2017.05.12
  • Published : 2017.11.01


Objective: The influence of substituting steam-flaked corn (SFC) for dry rolled corn (DRC) on feedlot cattle growth performance and dietary net energy when cattle are allowed either ad libitum or 2-h restricted access to the finishing diet was evaluated. Methods: Treatment effects were tested using 96 crossbred steers ($251{\pm}2kg$) during the initial 56 d of the finishing phase. Cattle were blocked by weight and randomly assigned within blocks to 16 pens (4 pens/treatment). Bunk space was sufficient (41 cm/head) to allow all steers access to the feed bunk at the same time. Treatments consisted of two finishing diets containing (dry matter basis) 77.1% corn grain processed by dry rolling (density = 0.50 kg/L) or steam flaking (density = 0.36 kg/L). Cattle were fed twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 h, allowing for approximately 5% residual. In the case of restricted feeding, steers were allowed access to feeders for 1 h following each feeding, after which residual feed was withdrawn. Results: There were no treatment interactions on dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG), gain efficiency (G:F), or dietary net energy (NE). Restricting feed access time reduced (p<0.01) feed intake, and hence, ADG. Substitution of SFC for DRC increased (p<0.01) ADG, feed efficiency (G:F), and estimated dietary NE, without affecting DMI. Based on tabular net energy of maintenance ($NE_m$) value (2.18 Mcal/kg) for DRC, the estimated $NE_m$ value for SFC using the replacement technique, averaged 2.44 Mcal/kg; an improvement of 10.7%. The ratio of observed-to-expected dietary NE was not affected by feed access time. Conclusion: Substitution of SFC for DRC in finishing diets for feedlot cattle enhanced ADG, gain efficiency, and the NE value of the diet. Although restriction of feed access time depressed DMI and ADG, it did not affect the comparative benefit of steam flaking toward enhancement of ADG, G:F, and dietary NE.


Corn Processing;Time of Feeding;Steers;Finishing;Performance


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