Three experiments were conducted to determine the effects of cattle age and dietary forage level on the utilization of corn fed whole or ground to feedlot cattle. In Exp. 1, 16 steers were used to investigate the effects of cattle age and corn processing on diet digestibility. Two cattle age categories were evaluated (weanling [254 ± 20 kg BW] and yearling [477 ± 29 kg BW]; eight steers per group), and corn was fed either ground or whole to each cattle age category. Cattle age and corn processing did not affect (P > 0.10) diet digestibility of DM, OM, starch, CP, NDF or ADF, and no interactions (P > 0.10) between these two factors were detected. In Exp. 2, the effects of forage level and corn processing on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics were evaluated. One hundred eighty steers (310 ± 40 kg BW) were allotted to 24 pens, and were fed one of the following diets: high-forage (18.2% corn silage) cracked corn (HFCC); high-forage shifting corn (whole corn for the first half of the trial, then cracked corn until harvest; HFSC); high-forage whole corn (HFWC); low-forage (5.2% corn silage) cracked corn (LFCC); low-forage shifting corn (LFSC); and low-forage whole corn (LFWC). For the high-forage diets, steers fed cracked corn had 7% greater DMI than those fed whole corn, whereas for the low-forage diets, grain processing did not affect DMI (interaction; P = 0.02). No interactions (P > 0.10) between forage level and corn processing were found for ADG and G:F. Total trial ADG and G:F, and percentage of carcasses grading USDA Choice, and carcass yield grade were not affected (P > 0.10) by corn processing. Cattle with fewer days on feed grew faster and more efficiently when cracked corn was fed, whereas cattle with longer days on feed had greater ADG and G:F when corn was fed whole (interaction; P < 0.10). In Exp. 3, the effects of forage level and corn processing on diet digestibility were evaluated. The high-forage cracked corn, high-forage whole corn, low-forage cracked corn, and low-forage whole corn diets used in Exp. 2 were fed to 16 steers (350 ± 27 kg BW) in a digestion trial. No interactions (P > 0.10) between forage level and corn processing were detected for starch digestibility. Forage level and corn processing (grinding) did not affect (P > 0.10) diet DM, OM, starch, CP, and NDF digestibility. Processing corn did not provide additional benefits to feedlot cattle performance under these experimental conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology