Effect of Protein Delivery Method for Steers Grazing Tobosagrass

Carlos Villalobos, Carlton M. Britton

Abstract


The effecto of delivery method of protein supplementation on winter weight gain, and subsequent spring performance of steers was determined at the Texas Tech Experimental Ranch, in Garza County, Texas. One of the objectives of this research was to determine if the form of supplementation influences winter gain. We also evaluated protein and mineral intake. Cubes (36% crude protein) and blocks (37% and 20%) were fed during the winter season to cross-bred steers grazing tobosagrass (Hilaria mutica) range. Average daily gain (ADG) for the control steers was 0.40 lb/hd/day during the winter shile spring gain was 1.54 lb/hd/day. Wineter ADG for steers supplemented with cubes (36%) CP was 0.88 lb/hd/day while ADG in spring was similar to the control with 1.50 lb/hd/day. The winter ADG for steers supplemented with blocks were 0.40 and 0.73 lb/head/day, respectively for 37% and 20% CP blocks, while the spring ADG was 1.42 and 1.75 lb/hd/day, for steers fed with 37% CPB and 20% CPB, respectively. We found no compensatory gain in the spring on tobosagrass rangeland. Heavier steers at the conclusion of winter supplementation remained the heaviest at the end of the spring. Protein blocks were consumed at a relatively low and variable rate during the first four weeks of feeding, increasing later to the target amount. Source of supplementation also affected the mineral intake. The source of supplementation should be determined by desired response coupled with economic and management considerations.

Keywords


winter supplement; mineral supplement; compensatory gain; beef; cattle; spring grazing

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