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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effect of flint corn processing method and roughage level on finishing performance of Nellore-based cattle1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 93 No. 8, p. 4023-4033
    Received: Feb 27, 2015
    Accepted: June 09, 2015
    Published: August 3, 2015

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. Caetano*22,
  2. R. S. Goulart*,
  3. S. L. Silva,
  4. J. S. Drouillard,
  5. P. R. Leme and
  6. D. P. D. Lanna 3*
  1. * University of São Paulo, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil, 13418900
     University of São Paulo, College of Animal Science and Food Engineering, Department of Animal Science, Pirassununga, São Paulo, Brazil, 13635900
     Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Manhattan 66506


This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of flint corn processing method (CPM) and level of NDF from roughage (rNDF) on performance, carcass characteristics, and starch utilization by finishing Nellore-based cattle fed high-concentrate, flint corn–based diets. In this study, 112 Nellore type bulls (initial BW 384.07 ± 29.53 kg and 24–36 mo of age) were individually fed using Calan gates or individual pens. The animals were used in a randomized complete block design in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement with 2 CPM, high-moisture flint corn (HMC) or finely ground dry flint corn (FGC), with 1 of 4 levels of rNDF, 3, 8, 13, and 18% (DM basis), using sugarcane silage (SS) as roughage. Bulls were adapted to the finishing diet over a 21-d period and fed for a total of 81 d. Fecal starch (FS) concentration was determined on d 46 and 74 of the feeding period. There was a quadratic effect of rNDF on final BW (P < 0.01) and ADG (P = 0.01). Optimal concentrations of rNDF were estimated using the first derivative of second order polynomials, indicating that final BW and ADG were maximized with 13.3 and 13.0% rNDF, respectively. An interaction was observed between CPM and rNDF (P = 0.05) for DMI, with peak DMI occurring at 11.3 and 13.7% rNDF with FGC and HMC, respectively. Cattle fed HMC had 13.9% greater G:F (P < 0.01) compared with those fed FGC (0.172 vs. 0.151, respectively). There were quadratic effects of rNDF on HCW (P = 0.04) and ME intake (P < 0.01); heaviest carcass weights were estimated, in both cases, to be achieved with 12.8% rNDF. A quadratic effect of rNDF for renal, pelvic, and inguinal fat weight (P = 0.04) was observed, with a peak estimated to occur at 12.6% rNDF. An interaction between CPM and rNDF also was observed for FS (P < 0.05). Bulls fed FGC with 3% rNDF had greater FS content, and FS linearly decreased as concentration of rNDF increased. For bulls fed HMC, FS was 3.0% of DM and was unaffected by rNDF in the diet. Lower FS from bulls fed HMC suggests that availability of starch from flint corn was greater than that of FGC. For Nellore-based cattle fed a flint corn–based diet containing SS and 8% whole lint cottonseed, performance was optimized with 12.8% rNDF. In the absence of cottonseed addition to diets, optimal performance would be expected with about 14.5% rNDF.

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