Date of this Version
Three cattle growth trials were conducted to evaluate the use of untreated and alkali-treated wheat straw as energy sources for ruminants. In trial 1, daily gain decreased as level of untreated wheat straw increased in the diet. A 14% decrease in gain occurred when the level of straw was increased from 30 to 40% of the diet. In trial 2, cattle fed 4% NaOH-treated wheat straw at the 30 or 60% level had better daily gains and feed efficieneies (P<.05) than those fed untreated wheat straw. In trial 3, when the effect of balancing for specific mineral ratios on the alkali-treated straw diets was evaluated, steers fed 78% treated wheat straw with added minerals gained faster (P<.05) than those receiving 80% treated wheat straw with no mineral additions (.65 kg/day vs. .54 kg/day). In addition, in this trial, cattle fed 50% treated wheat straw gained faster (P<.05) than those fed 50% untreated wheat straw (.74 kg/day vs. .62 kg/day).