Animal Science, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Animal Science 2002. 80:818–824. Copyright © 2002 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Two trials conducted in 1996–97 measured BW and body condition score changes of cows fed different sources of degradable intake protein, including dried poultry waste and soybean meal, while grazing low-quality winter forages. In Trial 1, 60 spring calving cows (5 yr; 555 kg) were used in an individual supplementation trial. Cows were gathered three times a week, sorted into individual pens, and fed their respective supplement. Cows grazed dormant native Sandhills winter range (common pasture) and were assigned to one of six supplemental treatments: 1) no supplement, 2) urea, 3) 22% dried poultry waste + urea, 4) soybean meal, 5) 22% dried poultry waste + soybean meal, or 6) 44% dried poultry waste. All supplements were based on wheat middlings and soybean hulls and were formulated to contain 44% CP. Thirty-six cows were selected randomly (six per treatment) for a 5-d measurement of forage intake from December 16 through December 20, 1996. Cows receiving supplements gained more weight (P < 0.001) and maintained greater body condition (P < 0.001) than unsupplemented cows. Cows receiving urea gained less (P < 0.10) than cows receiving a source of natural protein, but body condition remained similar. No differences were found in daily forage or total organic matter intake (P > 0.10). In Trial 2, cows grazed corn residues. Forty-eight spring-calving cows were group-fed supplements in one of six 4-ha paddocks. Cows received supplements containing either soybean meal or dried poultry waste that were the same as the soybean meal and 44% dried poultry waste supplements fed in Trial 1; gains were not different (P > 0.10). Under the economic conditions that existed at the time of these experiments, the supplement containing dried poultry waste resulted in a savings of $.04 per cow per day and a total savings of $3.20 per cow over an 80-d period. Feeding a supplement containing dried poultry waste resulted in performance similar to that when feeding a more conventional supplement containing soybean meal.