The effects of 3 supplemental Cu concentrations on feedlot performance, mineral absorption, carcass characteristics, and ruminal S metabolism of cattle fed diets containing 60% dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) were evaluated in 2 experiments. Experiment 1 was conducted with 84 Angus-cross yearling steers and heifers (initial BW = 238 ± 36 kg), which were blocked by gender and allocated to 12 pens. Supplemental dietary Cu (tribasic copper chloride) treatments were: 1) 0 mg Cu/kg diet DM, 2) 100 mg Cu/kg diet DM, 3) 200 mg Cu/kg diet DM. The remainder of the diet was DDGS (60%), grass hay (10%), pelleted soy hulls (15%), and a vitamin-mineral supplement (15%). Diets were offered ad libitum throughout the finishing phase (168 d). Three cattle from each pen (n = 36) were harvested on d 168 and carcass data and liver samples were collected. Copper supplementation did not affect ADG (P = 0.22). However, the nonsignificant trend for increased ADG and decreased DMI led to a linear increase (P = 0.02) feed efficiency (G:F = 0.167, 0.177, and 0.177 for 0, 100, and 200 mg Cu/kg diet DM, respectively). The apparent absorption of Cu decreased quadratically (P = 0.07) and the apparent absorption of Mn and Zn were decreased linearly (P = 0.03 and P = 0.05, respectively) with increased Cu supplementation. Cattle supplemented with 100 or 200 mg Cu/kg diet DM had greater liver Cu concentrations (P < 0.01) than cattle that were not supplemented with Cu. There were no treatment effects (P > 0.10) on HCW, LM area, USDA yield grade, backfat, or marbling score. Experiment 2 was conducted with 6 ruminally fistulated steers that were fed the same diets as in Exp 1 in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin Square design. Copper supplementation did not affect (P > 0.10) ruminal pH or liquid S2- concentrations in steers consuming 60% DDGS diets (total dietary S = 0.55%). From 3 to 9 h after feeding, H2S gas concentration was decreased in those cattle supplemented with 100 mg Cu/kg diet. Concentration of H2S gas did not differ among cattle supplemented with 0 or 200 mg Cu/kg diet DM on 60% DDGS diets. Supplemental Cu improved feed efficiency in cattle consuming diets containing 60% DDGS; however, effects of Cu on rumen S metabolism were minimal even when supplemented at twice the maximum tolerable limit for beef cattle (NRC, 2000).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology