Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2021 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, University of Nebraska Extension Publication MP110


Copyright © 2020 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


A finishing study was conducted to assess the impact of increasing silage inclusion in finishing diets to reduce the prevalence of liver abscesses in beef cattle. Cattle were fed two inclusions of corn silage (15 or 45% of diet dry matter), with or without tylosin for control of liver abscesses. Cattle fed 15% corn silage had a 2% improvement in feed efficiency when tylosin was added to the diet. However, in cattle fed 45% corn silage, no improvements in feed efficiency were observed when tylosin was added to the diet. Cattle fed 15% corn silage without tylosin, had the greatest prevalence of liver abscesses (34.5%) compared to other treatments, and abscess prevalence was decreased to 19% if tylosin was fed with 15% corn silage. Feeding 45% silage was effective at lowering liver abscess prevalence which was 12.4%, regardless of whether tylosin was fed. Feeding corn silage at 45% of diet dry matter was as effective as feeding tylosin at controlling abscess rates. Feeding corn silage at greater inclusions decreased average daily gain but increased final body weight when fed to an equal fatness (28 days longer). Feeding elevated concentrations of corn silage in diets containing distillers grains may be a viable method to control liver abscesses without antibiotic use, but has performance implications.