Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



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2020 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


A feedlot study was conducted comparing a natural feed additive (essential oils blend) at varying corn silage (CS) inclusions (14, 47, and 80%; DM basis) on receiving and finishing performance. Essential oils have been shown to alter the rumen environment leading to improved feed efficiency and production. Cattle were fed 14% CS for 168 days, 47% CS for 195 days, and 80% CS for 238 days to a common backfat of 0.5 inches. Th ere were no interactions between the inclusion of the essential oil blend and corn silage for performance or carcass characteristics. Th ere was no significant difference in performance or carcass characteristics for cattle fed with or without essential oils. Feeding corn silage at greater inclusions decreased gain and increased conversion but increased final body weight when fed to an equal fatness. Additionally, greater inclusions of silage led to increased profitability in dollars per head sold. Essential oils did not affect animal performance or carcass characteristics. However, feeding greater amounts of corn silage can be economical.