Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Paving the way for a new livestock feed product

Date:
June 10, 2011
Source:
Texas A&M AgriLife
Summary:
A new product has come to market that could allow the cattle feeding industry to realize efficiencies in mills and put more weight on cattle, according to experts.

The RAMP product is colored green to differentiate it during the feeding trials.
Credit: Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dr. Jim MacDonald

A two-year study by a Texas AgriLife Research team in Amarillo has helped bring a new product to market that could allow the cattle feeding industry to realize efficiencies in mills and more weight on cattle, according to Dr. Jim MacDonald.

MacDonald, an AgriLife Research beef cattle nutritionist, finished his second trial of cattle early this year studying starter diets in feedlots during the transition phase from pasture to feed yard.

Typically, a steer or heifer will come off of a forage diet when it goes into the feedlot, he explained. For the first 21 to 28 days in the feedlot, the cattle are fed a diet that allows their rumen microflora to adapt to grain instead of forage.

"This is usually done with roughage, and as they go through the period of adjustment, the amount of roughage goes down and the amount of grain goes up," MacDonald said.

If the animal is not allowed to go through this process, it can suffer rumen acidosis, which is typically characterized by decreasing rumen pH and digestive disorders that cause the cattle to go off feed, he said.

The problem for feed yards, MacDonald said, is handling the roughage needed for this transitional diet can be inefficient. Roughage is typically expensive per unit of energy and is bulky and difficult to handle in the feed mills. Also, there can be a substantial amount of shrink depending on the roughage used.

Through a grant funded by Cargill Corn Milling, MacDonald conducted two trials with 315 cattle in each to help develop a product that acts like a forage in the rumen but has the energy value of corn.

Cargill already produces Sweet Bran, a branded corn gluten feed that is high in digestible fiber with an energy value similar to corn, but without the potential to cause rumen acidosis, he said.

Cargill is expanding on the Sweet Bran product with a new one called RAMP, he said. RAMP is a complete starter feed to adapt cattle to finishing diets of Sweet Bran pre-mixed with cottonseed hulls, alfalfa hay, vitamins and minerals.

"Our first trial was to determine if the concept would work in the Southern Plains and to help determine what level of cottonseed hulls might be optimal," MacDonald said. "Our second study looked at how many days the product should be used to step the cattle up."

The trial looked at 14-30 days, and while statistically it didn't seem to make a difference on the length of time fed, MacDonald said he is most comfortable with feeding the product at least 18 days or more. He said the 14-day period may be too fast.

"Maximum energy intake early in the feeding period appears to have a large impact on growth and performance," MacDonald said. "By using RAMP, we increased their energy intake during the adaptation period. Our studies showed it allowed an additional 17 pounds of hot carcass weight to be captured on average."

In addition to increasing weight gain, RAMP helps improve feed mill efficiencies because of the reduced forage that needs to be handled -- about one-third less -- and the reduction in the number of diets that they were having to mix, MacDonald said.

"This is one more step that allows feed yards to improve on their efficiency with beef production, capture more pounds of beef per animal, and potentially reduce the cost of beef to the consumer," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M AgriLife. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M AgriLife. "Paving the way for a new livestock feed product." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610094509.htm>.
Texas A&M AgriLife. (2011, June 10). Paving the way for a new livestock feed product. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610094509.htm
Texas A&M AgriLife. "Paving the way for a new livestock feed product." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610094509.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins