Decreasing the frequency and rate of wet brewers grains supplementation did not impact growth but reduced humoral immune response of preconditioning beef heifers. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study evaluated growth and measurements of innate and humoral immunity of preconditioning beef heifers supplemented with wet brewers grains (WBG) at 2 supplementation rates and frequencies. At 14 d after weaning (d 0), Angus heifers ( = 36; 213 2 kg BW and 254 7 d of age) were stratified by BW and age and randomly assigned to 1 of 12 drylot pens (3 heifers/pen). Treatments were randomly assigned to pens, in a 2 2 factorial design, and consisted of heifers provided ground tall fescue hay ad libitum (55% TDN and 12% CP of DM) and supplemented with WBG (75% TDN and 36% CP of DM) either daily (7X) or 3 times weekly (3X; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) at 0.5 or 1.0% of BW (DM basis) for 42 d. Heifers were vaccinated against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), Mannheimia haemolytica, and Clostridium on d 14 and 28. Individual BW was measured before feeding on d 0 and 42 following 12 h of feed and water withdrawal. Blood samples were collected via jugular venipuncture 4 h after WBG supplementation on d 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, and 42. Heifers fed WBG 3X had less hay DMI (2.6 0.16 vs. 3.2 0.16 kg/d; < 0.0001) but greater total DMI (5.6 0.16 vs. 3.8 0.16 kg/d; < 0.0001) than 7X heifers on days that all heifers received WBG supplementation. However, overall hay and total DMI was not affected ( 0.40) by supplementation frequency. Therefore, ADG, BW, and G:F from d 0 to 42 did not differ among treatments ( 0.29). Plasma concentrations of haptoglobin on d 15 and cortisol on d 14 were greater for 3X heifers vs. 7X heifers ( 0.04). Heifers fed WBG at 0.5% of BW tended to have greater plasma cortisol concentrations on d 15, 17, and 35 ( 0.09) than heifers fed at 1.0% of BW. Serum BVDV-1a titers were greater ( = 0.04) for 7X heifers vs. 3X heifers on d 42 (4.2 0.28 vs. 3.3 0.28 log), whereas serum titers against BVDV-2 and IBR were greater for heifers fed WBG at 1.0% of BW vs. heifers fed WBG at 0.5% of BW (7.6 vs. 6.7 and 3.3 vs. 2.8 0.19 log, respectively). In summary, decreasing WBG supplementation frequency (7 vs. 3 times weekly) or rate (1.0 vs. 0.5% of BW) for recently weaned beef heifers did not affect growth but decreased vaccine-induced antibody production against pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease during a 42-d preconditioning period.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Moriel, P., Piccolo, M. B., Artioli, L., Poore, M. H., Marques, R. S., & Cooke, R. F.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 2016