Cattlemen's Day, 2009; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 1010; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution ; no. 09-168-S; Beef; Cattle; steam-flaked corn diets


Steam flaking is the predominant means of processing grains in large commercial feedlots. Compared with dry rolling, steam flaking improves total tract digestibility and feed efficiency by 8 to 15%. In steam-flaked corn diets, alfalfa hay often is used as a source of roughage. A survey of industry consultants showed that the range of roughage levels used is between 4.5 and 13.5%. Roughages are commonly the highest-cost ingredient per unit of energy and are highly prone to shrink. Low roughage levels are desirable, but a modest level must be maintained to ensure rumen health. Cattle, like other species, can be selective in their eating. We proposed that we could achieve a greater level of grain processing with an extruded processed diet than with steam flaking. In addition, a complete extruded diet would ensure that all cattle received the desired ratio of concentrate and roughage.


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