Effects of energy supplementation on energy losses and nitrogen balance of steers fed green-chopped wheat pasture I: Calorimetry
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Cattle grazing wheat pasture in the southern Great Plains are sometimes fed an energy supplement; however, the benefits of supplementation on nutrient balance, energy metabolism, and greenhouse gas emissions have not been elucidated. Therefore, we used 10 British crossbred steers (206 ± 10.7 kg initial BW) in a respiration calorimetry study to evaluate the effects of energy supplementation on energy losses, N balance, and nutrient digestibility of steers fed green-chopped wheat forage. The study design was an incomplete replicated 4 × 4 Latin square with treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Steers ( = 8) were assigned to 1 of 2 BW blocks (4 steers per block) with dietary factors consisting of 1) no supplementation (CON) or supplemented with a steam-flaked corn-based energy supplement (that also contained monensin sodium) at 0.5% of BW daily (SUP) and 2) NEm intakes of 1 times (1x) or 1.5 times (1.5x) maintenance. Wheat forage was harvested daily and continuously fed as green-chop to steers during the 56-d study. There were no differences ( ≥ 0.32) between CON and SUP for OM (78.3 vs. 80.7%, respectively) or NDF (68.3 vs. 64.8%, respectively) digestibility. At the 1.5x level of intake, there was no difference ( ≥ 0.16) in energy lost in feces (4.27 vs. 3.92 Mcal/d) or urine (0.58 vs. 0.55 Mcal/d), heat production (8.69 vs. 8.44 Mcal/d), or retained energy (3.10 vs. 3.46 Mcal/d) between supplementation treatments. Oxygen consumption (1,777 vs. 1,731 L/d; = 0.67) and CO production (1,704 vs. 1,627 L/d; = 0.56) of CON and SUP steers, respectively, were not different; however, SUP steers tended to have ( = 0.06) lower CH production (115 vs 130 L/d) than CON steers. Methane, as a proportion of GE intake, was similar for CON (6.87%) and SUP (6.07%; = 0.18), as was the ME:DE ratio ( = 0.24; 86.3% for CON and 87.9% for SUP). Fractional N excretion in urine and feces, as a proportion of total N excreted ( ≥ 0.84) or N intake ( ≥ 0.63), was not different between treatments. Calculated NEm and NEg values for CON were 1.76 and 1.37 Mcal/kg DM, respectively, whereas the NEm and NEg values for the SUP treatment were 2.32 and 1.61 Mcal/kg DM, respectively. Calculated NE values for steers fed additional energy were approximately 17.5% greater than the expected difference in energy content. This was probably the result of the inconsistent response at the 1x DMI level. Under these circumstances, energy supplementation did appear to enhance NEm and NEg value of the supplemented wheat forage diet.
author list (cited authors)
Shreck, A. L., Ebert, P. J., Bailey, E. A., Jennings, J. S., Casey, K. D., Meyer, B. E., & Cole, N. A.