Feeding Sprouted Durum and Barley
in Finishing Diets

 

J.J. Reed, M.L. Bauer, G.P. Lardy, and E.R. Loe

Department of Animal and Range Sciences

North Dakota State University

 

I

ntroduction

Durum and barley are two of North Dakota's leading crops produced.  Durum and barley are not traditionally used as feed grain because of their value in the production of human food and beverage.  At times, however, durum and barley can be competitively priced with other feed grains due to damage from disease, drought, or sprouting.  Wet conditions during fall harvesting can cause wide spread sprout damage to the grain crop.  There is limited research dealing with feeding sprout-damaged grain to cattle and defining the feeding value of sprouted grain.  A finishing trial was conducted at the NDSU Research Feedlot to compare feeding sprouted durum and barley with dry-rolled corn and to determine the effect of processing in finishing diets.

 

Materials and Methods

The study used 141 crossbred steers (918.3 _ 11.9 lb initial BW) fed for 83 or 108 days.  Steers were blocked by weight and allotted randomly to five treatments in 25 pens.   Treatments were dry-rolled corn, whole sprouted barley, rolled sprouted barley, whole sprouted durum, and coarse-rolled sprouted durum.  The diets contained 77% grain (Table 1).  The durum diets contained 37% corn and 40% durum as the grain source.  Particle size was 3438 and 2897 μm for whole barley and rolled barley and 2628 and 2287 μm for whole durum and rolled durum.  

 

 

Table 1.  Composition of diets fed to finishing steers (DM basis).

 

Item

 

Rolled

Corn

 

Whole Barley

 

Rolled Barley

 

Whole Durum

 

Rolled Durum

 

Corn

 

77.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

37.0

 

37.0

 

Whole Durum

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

40.0

 

0.0

 

Rolled Durum

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

40.0

 

Whole Barley

 

0.0

 

77.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

Rolled Barley

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

77.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

Wet Beet Pulp

 

8.5

 

8.5

 

8.5

 

8.5

 

8.5

 

Alfalfa

 

4.0

 

4.0

 

4.0

 

4.0

 

4.0

 

CSBa

 

5.0

 

5.0

 

5.0

 

5.0

 

5.0

 

Supplement

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 aCSB; Concentrated Separator Byproduct or Desugared Molasses

 

Results

There were no performance or carcass differences in corn-fed steers and durum-fed steers.  Corn made up nearly 50% of the concentrate in the durum diets and durum has a comparable level of metabolizable energy as corn.  These two factors combined to minimize the differences between the corn and durum treatments. 

 

Corn-fed steers had decreased DMI and increased final weight, ADG, G:F, and marbling compared to barley-fed steers.  Corn is higher in metabolizable energy than barley (3.18 vs 3.04 Mcal/kg, respectively; NRC, 1996).  Steers fed whole barley performed considerably poorer than steers fed rolled corn leading to significant differences in corn vs barley treatments.  The higher energy content of corn increased fat deposition, therefore increasing marbling in corn vs barley fed steers.

 

Steers fed durum had decreased DMI and increased final weight, ADG, G:F, and fat depth compared to barley-fed steers.  Morgan (1986) reported that the OM digestibility of rolled wheat was 6.3% greater than that of rolled barley when fed in early lactation dairy diets.  Including 37% rolled corn increased metabolizable energy levels in the durum diets contributing to significant increases in performance and fat cover in durum vs barley fed steers.  Barley fed steers had higher DMI than durum fed steers.  Barley fed steers may have been compensating for the lower energy in the feed by eating more.

 

Steers fed rolled grains had increased final weight, ADG, G:F, REA, and HCW.  Many studies have reported improved performance by reducing particle size (Theurer, 1986).  Rolling grain breaks open the hard seed coat and increases surface area leading to improved utilization of grains through increased exposure of endosperm material to digestive enzymes (Koch, 1996).

 

 

Table 2.  Effect of processing sprouted barley or durum on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of beef steers.

 

Item             

 

Rolled

Corn

 

Whole Barley

 

Rolled Barley

 

Whole Dururm 

 

Rolled Durum

 

 

SEM

 

Final wt, lb

 

1312.2

 

1208.3

 

1275.5

 

1262.5

 

1313.8

 

5.4

 

ADG, lb

 

3.91

 

2.83

 

3.34

 

3.39

 

3.71

 

0.09

 

DMI, lb/d

 

24.70

 

25.86

 

26.28

 

25.54

 

23.98

 

0.35

 

Gain:Feed

 

0.159

 

0.101

 

0.127

 

0.133

 

0.155

 

0.002

 

Feed:Gain

 

6.29

 

9.90

 

7.87

 

7.52

 

6.45

 

 

HCW, lb

 

813.6

 

749.1

 

790.8

 

782.8

 

814.5

 

6.1

 

Fat, in

 

0.34

 

0.28

 

0.30

 

0.33

 

0.33

 

0.02

 

Marblinga

 

419

 

371

 

385

 

388

 

394

 

11

              aMarbling Score: 400 = Low Choice.

 

Barley is high in energy and when rolled is rapidly fermented in the rumen.  In high-grain rations, careful attention to processing is necessary to minimize problems associated with acidosis and bloat (Lardy and Bauer, 1999).  Because of its propensity to produce high lactic acid levels and low pH in the rumen, levels of wheat in the ration should be limited, levels of wheat in the ration should be limited. In moderate to high grain rations (50% or more concentrate), wheat should be fed in combination with more fibrous or slowly fermented feed grains and limited to 40% of the diet (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).

 

Conclusion

Sprouted durum and barley are a palatable, digestible source of nutrients that can be used in beef cattle diets. Sprouted grains are similar in feeding value to undamaged grain when fed to cattle.  Nutrient levels in sprouted grains tend to be slightly higher than non-sprouted grain due to the concentration effect that occurs as certain nutrients are utilized during germination (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).

 

Feeding corn improves performance and carcass quality of steers compared to sprouted barley.  Rolling sprouted grains increases performance of steers fed finishing rations.

 

Literature Cited

 

Koch, K.  1996.  Hammermills and roller mills.  KSU Agriculture Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service.  MF-2048.

Lardy, G.P. and M.L. Bauer.  1999.  Feeding barley to beef cattle.  NDSU Extension Service.  http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/ansci/beef/eb70w.htm.

Lardy, G.P. and J. Dhuyvetter.  2000.  Feeding wheat to beef cattle.  NDSU Extension Service.  http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/ansci/beef/as1184.htm.

Moran, J.B.  1986.  Cereal grains in complete diets for dairy cows: A comparison of rolled barley, wheat, and oats and of three methods of processing oats.  Anim. Prod.  43:27-36.

NRC.  1996.  Nutritional Requirements of Beef Cattle (6th ed.)  National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Theurer, C.B.  1986.  Grain processing effects on starch utilization by ruminants.  J. Anim. Sci.  63:1649-1662.

 


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