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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effects of a slow-release urea product on performance, carcass characteristics, and nitrogen balance of steers fed steam-flaked corn


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 90 No. 11, p. 3914-3923
    Received: Oct 17, 2011
    Accepted: Apr 11, 2012
    Published: January 20, 2015

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. B. M. Bourg11,
  2. L.O. Tedeschi 2,
  3. T.A. Wickersham and
  4. J.M. Tricarico33
  1. Texas A&M University, Department of Animal Science, College Station 77843-2471


Two experiments were conducted to examine the impact of source, urea (U) or Optigen II (OP), and level of dietary NPN on performance (Exp.1) and N balance (Exp. 2) of growing cattle. Sixty Angus crossbred steers (initial BW = 353 ± 13.9 kg) were used to evaluate performance, and fed 1 of 3 steam-flaked corn based diets: U (U1.2, 1.2% NPN), OP (OP1.3, 1.3% NPN), or OP without cottonseed meal (OP3.1, 3.1% NPN). U1.2and OP1.3 contained cottonseed meal and NPN as CP sources, whereas OP3.1 contained only NPN. For Exp. 1, steers were blocked by postweaning BW and assigned to treatment (TRT) and pen within block. Body weight was collected every 14 d during the 105-d trial. Six steers from each TRT were selected based on residual feed intake (RFI) and harvested. Carcass and organ measurements were obtained. Cumulative animal performance was evaluated in 3 periods (0 to 35, 0 to 70, and 0 to 105 d) using a mixed coefficient model with initial BW as a covariate. For Exp. 2, 5 ruminally cannulated Holstein steers in a 5 × 5 Latin square design were used to evaluate N balance. Steers were fed a steam-flaked corn based diet with either no NPN, 0.75% U or N equivalent OP, or 1.5% U or N equivalent OP. Intake was measured, and feed, orts, urine, and fecal samples were obtained and composited for each steer by period. Data were analyzed using a mixed coefficient model. Orthogonal contrasts were used to evaluate differences between OP and U, and high and low level of NPN. For Exp. 1, there were no differences (P > 0.10) in initial BW, final BW, ADG, or DMI among TRT for any of the periods. However, for period 1 steers on OP3.1 had reduced F:G than U1.2 (5.71kg/kg vs. 7.39kg/kg; P = 0.03), and steers fed OP1.3 tended to have less F:G than those fed U1.2 (6.07 kg/kg vs. 7.39kg/kg; P = 0.07). In period 2, OP3.1 had reduced F:G than U1.2 (5.58 kg/kg vs. 6.56kg/kg; P = 0.03), but did not differ from OP1.3 (5.97). For Exp. 2, steers fed OP tended (P = 0.09) to have less apparent N absorption than those fed U. Apparent N absorption differed (P < 0.05) for level of NPN. There were no differences (P > 0.10) in intake or digestibility among source or level of NPN. No major differences (P > 0.10) on performance and carcass composition were observed between U and OP diets. Steers had better initial F:G (Period 1 and 2) when OP was used as the only source of feed N (OP3.1), suggesting that OP may replace true protein feeds in finishing cattle diets, minimizing feed use with no impact on carcass quality.

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Copyright © 2012. American Society of Animal Science