ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 73 Number 1
Growth performance of beef calves fed maize or sweet sorghum silages treated with urea or ammonium hydroxide
Growth of beef steers fed on either maize (Zea mays L.) or sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] silages treated with urea or ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH) was studied. Thirty-six steers of Angus, Hereford, and their Charolais crosses (243 kg average live weight) were fed urea-treated maize or NH4OH- treated maize or sweet sorghum silages in three treatment groups of 12 animals each for an 83- day feeding trial. Results showed that treating maize or sweet sorghum silages with NH4OH gave a similar rate of growth of beef steers. Ammoniation treatments of maize and sweet sorghum silages had similar effects on feed intake or feed conversion efficiency. Ammoniation treatment of sweet sorghum silage may provide a viable alternative to urea or ammonia treatments of maize silage in areas where maize production is economically marginal.
Keywords: Growth performance; Maize silage; Sweet sorghum silage; Beef calves; Urea; Ammonium hydroxide