In Proceedings of the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section, March 19-21, 2012. Des Moines, IA. J. Anim. Sci. 90 (suppl 2): pp. 80-81.
A study was conducted to compare grain adaptation programs using beet pulp (BP) to traditional grain adaptation with alfalfa hay (AH). Yearling crossbred steers (n = 232; BW = 326 ± 14.5 kg) were separated into 3 weight blocks, stratified by BW, and assigned randomly, within strata, to 18 feedlot pens, with 12 or 13 steers per pen. Treatments were imposed during grain adaptation (21 d) using 3 grain adaptation programs. Within each grain adaptation program, 4 step rations were fed for 3, 4, 7, and 7 d. Each program increased dry-rolled corn inclusion while roughage inclusion decreased. In the control treatment (CON), AH inclusion decreased from 46 to 6% and pressed BP (24% DM) was held constant at 6% in all step rations. Beet pulp adaptation programs included a low BP treatment (LOBP) where BP was decreased from 18 to 6% and AH from 34 to 6% or a high BP treatment (HIBP) in which both BP and AH were decreased from 26 to 6%. On d 22 through the remainder of the finishing period cattle were fed a common diet (62% dry rolled corn, 20% wet distillers grains with solubles, 6% AH, 6% BP, 0.25% urea, and 5.75% liquid supplement DM basis). During grain adaptation, cattle fed CON tended (P = 0.07 for overall F test, P = 0.02 for mean comparison) to have greater DMI than HIPB and LOPB was intermediate (9.9, 9.5, and 9.7 kg, respectively). Gain and G:F were not different (P > 0.19) among treatments during the grain adaptation period. However, based off of carcass adjusted final BW, steers adapted using HIBP and LOBP tended (P = 0.07 for overall F-test, P = 0.04 for mean comparison) to have greater ADG compared with CON (1.65, 1.72, and 1.73 kg, respectively). Overall G:F was not different (P = 0.11) among treatments. Dry matter intakes were not different across all treatments (P = 0.58). Carcass characteristics were not affected by adaptation method (P > 0.31). Replacing up to 50% of AH with BP during grain adaptation increased ADG and may be used as an alternative to conventional adaptation programs.