Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 1996 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report; published by Agricultural Research Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Large-frame calves are well suited to a production system in which finishing begins shortly after weaning. Compared with yearlings. calves are less mature and deposit more lean tissue relative to fat when placed in the feedlot. Therefore. the need for metabolizable protein is greater with calves.

Wet corn gluten feed (WCGF) has been shown to be an excellent energy source in beef cattle diets. Compared with dry rolled corn (DRC), WCGF is higher in crude protein, but the escape protein value of WCGF is substantially lower (60 vs 20%). Previous research (1995 Nebraska Beef Report, pp. 28- 30) showed supplemental escape protein improved efficiency of calves fed DRC/alfalfa and WCGF/alfalfa receiving diets. Most of this response was due to escape protein improving efficiency of calves fed WCGF. Calves fed DRC- or DRC/WCGF-based finishing diets performed similarly. regardless of escape protein supplementation. but metabolizable protein supply was near or exceeded the animal's requirement in all dietary treatments.

High moisture corn (HMC) is used widely in beef cattle diets. The crude protein content of HMC and DRC is similar. however. the escape protein value of HMC is lower than that of DRC (40 vs 60%). The lower escape protein potential of WCGF and HMC may create a deficiency in metabolizable protein and enhance the need for escape protein supplementation when these two feeds are fed together.

The objective of this research was to determine the effect of feeding WCGF and escape protein on performance and health of calves during the receiving period and subsequent finishing period. This report represents the second year of research with this objective. Additionally. HMC, HMC/WCGF, and DRCI HMC were included as energy sources in the second year's finishing trial to evaluate the need for supplemental escape protein in these diets.