Animal Science, Department of


First Advisor

Jim C. MacDonald

Second Advisor

Galen E. Erickson

Date of this Version


Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition), Under the Supervision of Professors Jim C. MacDonald and Galen E. Erickson. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2022

Copyright (c) 2022 Rebecca L. Sjostrand


One feedlot trial (Exp. 1) and one digestion trial (Exp. 2) were conducted to evaluate the interaction of corn processing method and Sweet Bran inclusion on nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation parameters, and feedlot performance. In Exp. 1 when no Sweet Bran was fed, cattle fed steam-flaked corn (SFC) had greater ADG, HCW and a 12.4% improvement in feed efficiency compared to cattle fed a high-moisture corn/ dry-rolled corn (HMC/DRC) blend. However, as Sweet Bran increased in the diet to 40%, cattle fed HMC/DRC had greater improvements in ADG and HCW than cattle fed SFC resulting in similar performance at 40% Sweet Bran. Steers fed Sweet Bran in SFC diets had no improvement in feed efficiency while cattle fed HMC/ DRC diets displayed a 5.6% linear improvement in feed efficiency as Sweet Bran increased in the diet to 40%. As a result, feed efficiency was only improved by 5.3% for SFC diets when compared to HMC/DRC diets containing 40% Sweet Bran. Additionally, as Sweet Bran increased in the diet, cattle fed both SFC and HMC/DRC had greater DMI in both experiments and as a result, greater digestible energy (DE) intakes. Increased DE intakes improved ADG and feed efficiency when feeding Sweet Bran in Exp 1. and matched with greater DMI and increased DE observed in Exp. 2. Overall, feeding Sweet Bran in HMC/DRC based finishing diets makes HMC/DRC diets more competitive with SFC-based finishing diets allowing producers without steam-flaking capabilities to achieve similar gains and more similar conversions.

An additional digestion trial (Exp. 3) was conducted to evaluate individual Sweet Bran components (corn bran, mixed steep, and solvent-extracted germ meal) on nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation parameters. Dry matter and organic matter digestibility were lowest for bran, intermediate for solvent extracted germ meal, and greatest for steep and the corn control. Neutral detergent fiber digestibility was lowest for control and intermediate for bran and steep with a tendency for solvent extracted germ meal to have the greatest digestibility. Steep and solvent-extracted germ meal had energy densities similar to the corn control, while bran had a lower energy density. Additionally, apparent energy digestibility was greatest for steep and control and least for bran with solvent extracted germ meal being intermediate. These data suggest the the physical and nutrient digestibility characteristics of bran, steep, and SEM are complementary when fed in combination and contribute to the higher energy value of Sweet Bran compared to DRC.

Advisors: James C. MacDonald & Galen E. Erickson