Beet Pulp Supplementation of Beef Heifers Grazing Native Flood Meadows

                        *Performance          *Intake
                        *Digestibility            *Ruminal Fermentation

Sixty-four beef heifers (287 ± 2 kg) and 4 ruminally cannulated steers (286 ± 4 kg) were used in an 84-day study to evaluate beet pulp (BP) supplementation of early-to-mid season native flood meadow pasture.  Treatments consisted of an unsupplemented control (CON) and 0.25 (L), 0.50 (M), and 0.75 (H) kg/d dried BP.  Heifers were gathered daily at 0730 from a common 35 ha pasture and sorted into pens (4 heifers/pen; 4 pens/treatment) and provided BP.  After the BP was consumed (approximately 3 hour) heifers were returned to the common native flood meadow pasture.  Heifers were weighed every 28 days and available forage determined by clipping 25 randomly placed 0.19-m2 quadrats.  In addition, rumen fluid was obtained via stomach tube on day 42 from one heifer randomly selected from each pen 4 hours after supplementation.  Cannulated steers were used to estimate diet quality on day 0, 28, 56, and 84 by rumen evacuation/masticate collection procedures.  Diet quality estimates were 23, 18, 15, and 12% crude protein and 44, 49, 53, and 58% neutral detergent fiber for day 0, 28, 56, and 84, respectively.  Heifer average daily gain was not affected (P > 0.10) by BP supplementation (1.11, 1.08, 1.04, and 1.08 kg/d for CON, L, M, and H, respectively).  In addition, ruminal ammonia nitrogen and pH were not altered (P > 0.05) by BP supplementation.  These data suggest that BP is not a beneficial supplement to growing beef heifers consuming high-quality native flood meadow.

              

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Bohnert, D.W., C.S. Schauer, T. DelCurto.  2001.  Beet Pulp supplementation of heifers grazing native flood meadow: Performance and ruminal fermentation.  Proc. West. Sec. Amer. Soc. Anim. Sci. 52:340-343  (DWB PDF#24)

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