Date of this Version
Four metabolism and two finishing trials were conducted to determine the effects of imposed feed intake variation on acidosis and performance of finishing steers. In Metabolism Trial 1, four ruminally fistulated steers were limit-fed and subjected to either a constant amount of feed per day (C) or low intake variation of .7 kg/d (LV). No treatment differences were found for intake or measures of acidosis. Metabolism Trial 2 was conducted similarly to Metabolism Trial 1 with treatments of C and high intake variation of 1.4 kg/d (HV). Treatment HV increased ( P < .05) acidosis, as indicated by the area of ruminal pH below 5.6. In Metabolism Trial 3, four steers were fed at ad libitum levels of intake and subjected to three levels of intake variation: ad libitum intake with no imposed intake variation (AL), LV of .7 kg/d, and HV of 1.4 kg/d. No treatment differences were found. In Metabolism Trial 4, six ruminally fistulated steers were fed at ad libitum levels and subjected to three levels of intake variation: AL, LV of .9 kg/d, and HV of 1.8 kg/d. Average ruminal pH increased ( P < .05) and area of ruminal pH below 5.6 decreased ( P < .05) as level of intake variation was increased. In Finishing Trial 1, 75 steers were assigned to eight pens and two treatments: AL or HV of 1.8 kg/d. Dry matter intake increased ( P < .05) from AL to HV. Daily gain and gain/feed were not affected by treatment. In Finishing Trial 2, 94 steers were assigned to 12 pens and two treatments: AL or HV of 1.8 kg/d. No treatment differences were noted in DMI, daily gain, or gain/ feed. Therefore, results of these trials indicate that intake variation of up to 1.8 kg/d does not increase acidosis or decrease performance of finishing steers fed at ad libitum levels of intake.