Feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing cattle fed maize silage, sweet sorghum silage, and fescue hay
Keywords:Sorghum silage, Maize silage, Festuca, Growing-finishing cattle
AbstractThirty two yearling Angus, Hereford, and Angus × Hereford steers and heifers averaging 248.8 ± 12. 3 kg were assigned randomly to maize silage (MS), Brandes sweet sorghum silage (BS), Theis sweet sorghum silage (TS), or fescue hay (FH) treatments. Animals were group-fed their respective diets ad libitum for 174 days including a 21-day adaptation period. The diets included a concentrate mixture and were fed at a 45:55 forage-to-concentrate dry matter (DM) ratio. Animals fed the BS diet had a higher (P < 0.05) average daily gain and heavier carcasses than those fed TS or FH. Average daily gain and carcass weight were similar (P > 0.05) among animals fed BS and MS or among those fed MS and TS. Animals fed FH had the lowest average daily gain and carcass weight, which were similar to those of TS-fed animals. Intake of DM, as well as total protein, was greater (P < 0.05) for animals fed TS than for those fed either BS or MS; however, the last two treatment groups utilized their diets more efficiently than did the TS-fed group. Overall, carcass characteristics were not affected (P > 0.05) by diets except for fat thickness and yield grade. Brandes sweet sorghum silage may be a suitable substitute for MS for growing-finishing cattle.