Cattlemen's Day, 2002; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 02-318-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 890; Beef; Steam-flaked corn; Dry-rolled corn; Flax; Tallow


Experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of grain processing and lipid source on finishing cattle performance, carcass characteristics, and plasma concentrations of glucose, urea, and α-amino nitrogen (amino acids). Eighty yearling Hereford x Angus steers (847 lb) were fed diets containing either steam-flaked corn or dry-rolled corn, both fed with and without 4% added tallow. In a fifth diet, ground flaxseed (equivalent to 4% lipids) replaced a portion of steam-flaked corn. Diets were fed once daily for 85 days. As expected, cattle fed steam-flaked corn were more efficient than steers fed dry-rolled corn. Adding tallow had little effect on performance. Including flaxseed resulted in performance similar to that with tallow addition. Plasma glucose concentrations measured 2 hours after feeding were higher for steers fed steam-flaked corn than for steers fed dry-rolled corn, and were higher for cattle fed tallow than for those fed no supplemental fat. Steers fed the flax/steam-flaked corn combination had lower plasma glucose concentrations 2 hours after feeding than those fed steam flaked corn with added tallow (P<0.05). Steam flaking corn increased performance and elevated glucose concentrations compared to dry rolling, suggesting that increasing the ruminal degradable starch allowed for a greater supply of substrates for gluconeogenesis. Adding flaxseed resulted in lower levels of plasma glucose after feeding, compared to tallow.

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