Wendy Bengochea, Marc Bauer, and Greg Lardy
NDSU Department of Animal and Range Science
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of increased degree of barley processing and mixing barley particle sizes and how this affects performance of beef steers fed a 50% roughage diet. Feed efficiency was increased with fine processing of barley. Mixing barley of different particle sizes was not advantageous.
In high-grain finishing diets, starch digestibility increased linearly with increased degree of processing using temper-rolled barley (Beauchemin, et al., 2001). When diets are adequate in effective fiber, Koenig, et al. (2003) suggested barley grain can be more extensively rolled. The objectives of this study were to evaluate 1) the effects of increased degree of barley processing, resulting in decreased particle size, and 2) mixing barley particle sizes on performance of beef steers fed a 50% roughage diet.
One hundred forty-three crossbred beef steers (609 ± 42 lbs. initial BW)
were used in a randomized complete block design to evaluate the degree of
processing (particle size) barley in backgrounding diets. Steers originated
During the receiving period, all steers received common transition diets
of hay, silage, supplement and de-sugared molasses. A booster vaccination
against bovine rhinotracheitis virus diarrhea, parainfluenza3, respiratory
syncitial virus and Haemophilus somnus was administered. Steers were treated
with Dectomax (Pfizer,
Target particle sizes were 2,700 micrometers for coarsely-rolled barley,
2,000 micrometers for medium-rolled barley, 1,300 micrometers for finely-rolled
barley and 2,000 micrometers for the mixed barley, which was produced by mixing
finely-and coarsely-rolled barley to assimilate medium barley. Diets contained
(DM basis) 41.8% barley, 35% pressed beet pulp, 15% grass/alfalfa hay, five
percent de-sugared molasses and 3.2 percent supplement. Diets were formulated
to contain a minimum of 12.5 percent CP, 0.6 percent Ca, 0.3 percent P, 0.6
percent K and 25 grams/ton of Rumensin (Elanco,
Steers were implanted with Synovex S (Fort Dodge Animal Health,
Results and Discussion
The effects of barley processing for beef steers fed backgrounding diets are shown in Table 1. No differences were found among treatments for final weight (P = 0.51) or average daily gain (P = 0.43). This is similar to results from Bengochea, et al. (2004), who reported similar performance for steers fed barley processed to either 1,390-micrometer particle size or 2,130-micrometer particle size. However, this is in contrast to Reed, et al. (2005), who reported an increase in ADG with increased degree of processing. Reed, et al. (2005) fed dry-rolled barley with a particle size of either 2,630 micrometers or 2,000 micrometers. Dry matter intake was greatest (P < 0.01) for steers fed the coarse and mixed barley, and least for the fine barley, with the medium barley not different than the fine, coarse or mixed barleys.
Previous research in our laboratory (Reed, et al., 2005; Bengochea, et al., 2004) indicated similar intakes among treatments. The fine and medium treatments had the greatest (P < 0.01) feed efficiency (ADG/DMI). The mixed treatment was intermediate, while the coarse treatment had the poorest feed efficiency. Reed, et al. (2005) and Bengochea, et al. (2004) reported increased feed efficiency with decreased particle size.
In the present experiment, the fine treatment had a 13% improvement in gain efficiency above the coarse treatment and a nine percent improvement in gain efficiency from the medium to the coarse treatment. Apparent dietary NEm and NEg were greater for the fine and medium treatments, compared with the coarse-rolled and mixed barley. Bengochea, et al. (2004) reported increased dietary NEm and NEg with increased degree of processing. Increasing the degree of processing to medium and fine levels improved gain efficiency above the coarse treatment, and no benefit was found to mixing barley of different particle sizes.
Medium and fine processing improved gain efficiency of backgrounding steers. This study indicates that barley can be processed to a medium or finer degree, compared with a coarse degree, to improve gain efficiency. Further research is needed to determine optimum particle size and how it interacts with roughage level and CP level in backgrounding diets.
ASAE. 1993. Method of determining and expressing fineness of feed materials by sieving. ASAE Standard ASAE S319.2.
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of grain processing for backgrounding diets on performance of beef steers.
Presented at Midwest Section ASAS and Midwest Branch ADSA 2004 Meeting,
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Reed, J. J., E. R. Loe, M. L. Bauer, G. P. Lardy and J. S. Caton. 2005. Effect of processing sprouted durum or barley in backgrounding and finishing diets for beef steers. Prof. Anim. Sci. (In Press).