Vern Anderson, NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center
Treatments were: 1) Modest fat ddgs (8-9%) fed with corn based growing and finishing diets; 2) Modest fat ddgs (8-9%) fed with barley based growing and finishing diets; 3) Low fat ddgs (4-5%) fed with corn based growing and finishing diets; 4) Low fat ddgs (4-5%) fed with barley-based growing and finishing diets. The diet included corn silage, chopped hay, vitamin/mineral supplements and an ionophore (Rumensin. Steers were weighed monthly with feed intake, gain, and feed efficiency determined for each weigh period as well as for the growing phase (two weigh periods), the finishing phase (five weigh periods) and over the entire trial. Carcass traits were determined by a qualified grader after harvest and compared for treatment effects. Data analysis is completed for this project
Rumen Function and Digestion Trial
Eight ruminally and intestinally cannulated steers are used in a replicated Latin square design with similar treatments as described above for the finishing diets. Periods consisted of 7 days of diet adaptation and 5 days of sample collection. Samples were collected from diet, rumen, and intestinal cannulas and feces to determine nutrient digestibility in the rumen, intestines, and total tract. Samples also were collected from the rumen to measure fermentation parameters (pH, volatile fatty acid concentrations, and ammonia concentrations) as well as in vitro methane production. The animal work and data analysis for this project has been completed.
Feeding Behavior Trial
Eighty–one steers were used in a completely randomized design. Similar treatments were used as described above. Steers were assigned to treatment within 2 pens containing Insentec feeders. Insentec feeders allow for offering specific dietary treatments within a pen and for measuring feed intake and feeding behavior traits. Feeding behavior measurements taken were total intake per day, number of visits and meals per day, total time at feeder, time per visit and meal, and eating rate. Body weights were measured every 28 days including for 2 consecutive days at the beginning and ending of the feeding period. Blood samples were collected every 28 days and urea and glucose concentrations measured as an indicator of protein and energy status. Carcass measurements were also were collected at the end of the feeding period. The data for this portion of the project is currently being collated and analyzed.