Supplementation based on protein or energy ingredients to beef cattle consuming low-quality cool-season forages: I. Forage disappearance parameters in rumen-fistulated steers and physiological responses in pregnant heifers. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two experiments evaluated the influence of supplement composition on ruminal forage disappearance, performance, and physiological responses of Angus Hereford cattle consuming a low-quality cool-season forage (8.7% CP and 57% TDN). In Exp. 1, 6 rumen-fistulated steers housed in individual pens were assigned to an incomplete 3 2 Latin square design containing 2 periods of 11 d each and the following treatments: 1) supplementation with soybean meal (PROT), 2) supplementation with a mixture of cracked corn, soybean meal, and urea (68:22:10 ratio, DM basis; ENER), or 3) no supplementation (CON). Steers were offered meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis L.) hay for ad libitum consumption. Treatments were provided daily at 0.50 and 0.54% of shrunk BW/steer for PROT and ENER, respectively, to ensure that PROT and ENER intakes were isocaloric and isonitrogenous. No treatment effects were detected on rumen disappearance parameters of forage DM (P 0.33) and NDF (P 0.66). In Exp. 2, 35 pregnant heifers were ranked by initial BW on d -7 of the study, allocated into 12 feedlot pens (4 pens/treatment), and assigned to the same treatments and forage intake regimen as in Exp. 1 for 19 d. Treatments were fed once daily at 1.77 and 1.92 kg of DM/heifer for PROT and ENER, respectively, to achieve the same treatment intake as percent of initial BW used in Exp. 1 (0.50 and 0.54% for PROT and ENER, respectively). No treatment effects (P = 0.17) were detected on forage DMI. Total DMI was greater (P < 0.01) for PROT and ENER compared with CON and similar between PROT and ENER (P = 0.36). Accordingly, ADG was greater (P = 0.01) for PROT compared with CON, tended to be greater for ENER compared with CON (P = 0.08), and was similar between ENER and PROT (P = 0.28). Heifers receiving PROT and ENER had greater mean concentrations of plasma glucose (P = 0.03), insulin (P 0.09), IGF-I (P 0.04), and progesterone (P = 0.01) compared to CON, whereas ENER and PROT had similar concentrations of these variables (P 0.15). A treatment hour interaction was detected (P < 0.01) for plasma urea N (PUN), given that PUN concentrations increased after supplementation for ENER and PROT (time effect, P < 0.01) but did not change for CON (time effect, P = 0.62). In conclusion, beef cattle consuming low-quality cool-season forages had similar ruminal forage disappearance and intake, performance, and physiological status if offered supplements based on soybean meal or corn at 0.5% of BW.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Cappellozza, B. I., Cooke, R. F., Guarnieri Filho, T. A., & Bohnert, D. W.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Cappellozza, BI||Cooke, RF||Guarnieri Filho, TA||Bohnert, DW

publication date

  • January 2014