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Title:Program Feeding Strategies for Reducing Costs of Wintering Beef Cows
Author(s):Miller, Alan J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Faulkner, Dan B.
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition
Abstract:The objective of this research was to evaluate program-fed diets for maintaining beef cows. The largest expense in a cow/calf production system is the cost associated with maintaining the producing cow through the winter months. This research focused on evaluating the performance, financial, and environmental impacts of using producer adaptable feeding systems and feedstuffs that are readily available in the region, to provide alternatives to traditional hay based winter feeding programs. The impacts of feeding varying levels of corn with hay were evaluated for the effects on animal performance and digestion characteristics. Replacing the forage component of a ration with highly digestible fiber byproducts was examined for the impacts on cow performance and maintenance requirements. Alternative methods of limiting intake of traditional hay diets were also explored. Animals used were mature Angus x Simmental crossbred cows. Milk samples were taken and calf performance measured. Manure was weighed and sampled to measure nutrient output. Program feeding corn-based diets at similar energy intakes to ad libitum hay diets improved animal performance (P < .01) and reduced fecal output (P < .02) through increased diet digestibility (P < .01). Program feeding a 50% diet improved milk production (P < .08) and milk fat (P < .03). Cow performance on program-fed forage-free diets was comparable to that achieved with ad libtum hay. Lactating cows fed the corn-based forage-free diets had higher average daily gains (P = .02) than those fed soybean hulls. Cows fed the concentrate diets at restricted intakes also tended to have more milk production (P = .07), and total milk protein (P = .02) than those fed hay ad libitum. Limiting the time that cows have access to a large round bale of hay to as little as 3 hours per day will result in acceptable cow performance depending on hay quality. Limiting time of access also reduced hay use (P < .01) by limiting intake and decreasing hay waste, thereby reducing feed costs for the cow-calf producer. Manure production and nutrient output were also decreased (P < .01). Program feeding to a restricted level of intake will reduce costs for cow/calf producers through decreased feed usage, enhanced animal performance and decreased feed and manure handling expenses.
Issue Date:2004
Description:109 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3160925
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

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