Limit feeding, growing cattle, growth performance


The objective of this experiment was to compare performance impacts of a high-energy diet limit-fed at 2.2% of body weight (BW) daily on a dry matter (DM) basis to a traditional roughage-based diet fed for ad libitum intake during the growing phase.

Study Description: Three hundred seventy crossbred heifers (initial BW = 496 ± 44 lb) were used in a receiving and growing study at the Kansas State University Beef Stocker Unit in the spring of 2020. Animals were fed once daily at 7:00 a.m. Bunks were visually observed, and feed refused was estimated. Ad libitum feed refusal was targeted at 20 lb. A pen scale was used to measure weekly pen BW, adjust feed offerings, and to calculate pen performance.

The Bottom Line: Growing heifers limit-fed a high-energy diet at 2.2% of BW daily on a DM basis had 35% better feed efficiency and were more active by 23 minutes per day, on average, than heifers full-fed a traditional roughage-based diet.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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