Effect of feeding method on nutrient utilization and cow performance in limit-fed cow-calf systems. Academic Article uri icon


  • Delivery of limit-fed, complete rations requires significant capital investment, and creates logistical challenges for producers. Deconstruction and separate delivery of roughage and concentrate portions of diets may decrease feeding cost. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential of separately limit-feeding roughage and concentrate. In Experiment 1, 4 ruminally cannulated steers (371 12 kg bodyweight) were used in a 4 4 Latin square to evaluate the effects of time of concentrate delivery in deconstructed diets. Intake was restricted to 80% of predicted NEm requirements of a diet consisting of wheat straw (35%), cracked corn (29%), and distillers' grains (27%) formulated to contain 1.58 Mcal NEm/kg. Treatments were: concentrate fed 2 h prior to wheat straw (-2S), concentrate and wheat straw fed as total mixed ration (TMR), concentrate fed 2 h after wheat straw (+2S), and concentrate fed 12 h after wheat straw (+12S). In Experiment 2, 95 mid- to late-gestation cows (503 151 kg) were used in a 112-d trial to evaluate feeding system on cow performance. Cows were assigned to 1 of 12 pens. Treatments were limit-fed the complete diet from Experiment 1 (TMR), fed roughage and concentrate portions of the deconstructed TMR 12 h apart (SEP), and ad libitum bermudagrass hay (HAY). Bodyweight (BW), BCS, and back fat measures were collected every 28 d. In Experiment 1, treatment did not affect DM or OM digestion (P 0.88), rate of particulate passage (P 0.55), or ruminal DM fill (P 0.19). Fill averaged 3.8 kg DM. Nadir of ruminal pH occurred 4-8 h after concentrate was delivered, but mean ruminal pH was not different among treatments (P = 0.22) ranging from 6.4 to 6.6 for +2S and 12S, respectively. In Experiment 2, treatment did not affect final BW (518 kg; P = 0.72) or final BCS (5.6; P = 0.67), but limit-fed strategies tended (P = 0.06) to have greater final RE (137.1, 98.9, and -14.6 Mcal for TMR, SEP, and HAY, respectively). Delivering forage and concentrate separately did not change digestion, and timing of concentrate delivery had only minor effects on ruminal fermentation. Limit-feeding a TMR or separate delivery of roughage and concentrate sustained cow performance compared to ad libitum hay consumption.

published proceedings

  • Transl Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Baber, J. R., Sawyer, J. E., Trubenbach, L. A., & Wickersham, T. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Baber, JR||Sawyer, JE||Trubenbach, LA||Wickersham, TA

publication date

  • July 2021