of Processing Field Peas in Creep Feed on
Performance of Nursing Calves
Vern Anderson and Jon Schoonmaker
Field peas contain high levels of protein (approximately 24.5 % CP) and
energy (approximately 88% TDN), and are an attractive, nutrient dense livestock
feed for ruminants and non-ruminants. Significant and increasing amounts of
peas and other pulse grains are produced annually in the northern Great Plains
Cows and calves on creep feed study with field peas.
One hundred eleven cow/calf pairs were allotted by weight (cow and calf
weight), breed composition, and sex of calf to one of three pea-supplemented
diets with three pens or replicates per treatment. The objective was to compare the effect of
different processing methods for field peas on nursing-calf performance.
Processing treatments were whole, dry-rolled, and ground field peas. Particle
size of the peas averaged 700, 3100, and 9250 microns. Particle size was determined by pan-shaker
method at the Northern Crops Institute in
Field peas were included in the creep ration at 40% of the formulation based on interpolation of the optimum level from previous creep feed research (Anderson, 1999; Landblom and Poland, 2000).
Cow/calf pairs were housed and fed at the
Calves were vaccinated for protection against IBR, BVD, BRSV, PI3
Data were analyzed using the GLM procedures of SAS (Version 8.0; SAS
Results and Discussion
Cow and calf background data and calf performance are reported in Table 2. Calf weights and dry matter intake of creep feed did not differ (P>.82) throughout the 56 days of the study. However, average daily gain appeared to be greater (P<.04) for rolled peas during period 2 with concomitant effect on overall calf gain (P<.10). Feed conversion shows some numerical improvement for the rolled peas as well.
Similarly, Birkelo et al. (2000) observed no effect of processing (dry-rolled vs. whole peas) on performance when peas were included in a finishing feedlot diet at 10%. However, Bock (2000) reported that when fed at 40% of a high-forage diet, cattle fed rolled peas gained the least (P<.04) compared to cattle fed ground and whole peas.
Dry rolling has a tendency to split the peas into a lighter weight hull fraction or a heavier endosperm fraction. Light hulls would hang up in a hopper bottom bin and could alter nutrients in a ration if a large quantity accumulated.
While field peas are a relatively new feed, the price and availability plus the positive research results and field experiences suggest this grain legume should be a component of creep feeds. Some commercial feed manufacturers like peas in their compound rations for the nutrient density as well as the binding properties.
Processing field peas does not appear to be critical, although some benefits were observed. The reduced mixing ability and rolling around of whole peas may be factors in the decision to process peas, although the cost and ease will be major factors to consider.
Anderson, V. L. 1999. Field peas in diets for creep feed for beef calves. Pages 1-4 in Carrington Research Extension Center Beef Production Field Day Report. Vol. 22. North Dakota State Univ., Fargo.
Birkelo, C. P., B. J. Johnson, and B. D. Rops. 2000. Field peas in finishing cattle diets and the effect of processing. SDAES Cattle 00-4. South Dakota State Univ. Extension Service, Brookings.
Bock, E. J. 2000. Effects of processing field peas in steer grower diets. Pages 29 – 31 in Carrington Research Extension Center Beef Production Field Day Report. Vol. 23. North Dakota State Univ., Fargo.
Fendrick, E. M.,
I. G. Rush, D. R. Brink, G. E. Erickson,
Flatt, W. R., and
T. L. Stanton. 2000. Effect of Profi peas, Pisum
arvense, on growth performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot
cattle. Pages 81 – 84 in Colorado State Univ. Anim. Sci. Research Report.
Landblom, D.G, and
W.W. Poland. 2000. Application of salt-limited pea/wheat midds creep diets in
Southwestern North Dakota. Pp 8-12 in
material is based upon work supported by the