Interpretive Summary: Feeding a high-energy finishing diet upon arrival to high-risk feedlot calves: effects on health, performance, ruminal pH, rumination, serum metabolites, and carcass traits
By: David M Crawford, John T Richeson, Thomas L Perkins, Kendall L Samuelson
When high-risk cattle arrive at the feedlot, they have low feed consumption and a greater risk for disease because of stress, inflammation, and exposure to pathogens. Because of reduced feed consumption, newly arrived cattle may not be able to meet their energy requirement for growth during the first several weeks after feedlot arrival. Therefore, providing a high-energy finishing diet (FIN) when stressed cattle arrive at the feedlot may allow for greater growth performance and improved health when compared with a traditional, low-energy receiving diet that contains more roughage (REC). Our study evaluated this concept and we observed that cattle fed FIN had greater body weight, average daily gain, and gain:feed (G:F) within the first 56 d when the different diets were fed, with no difference in growth performance after the cattle consuming REC transitioned to FIN on day 74. However, cattle consuming FIN had greater hot carcass weight and G:F over the entire feeding period. There were no differences in health outcomes among treatments. Overall, providing a high-energy finishing diet to high-risk cattle upon arrival to the feedlot improved growth performance with no impact on health.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.