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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1973. Department of Animal Science.


Copyright 1973, the author. Used by permission.


In recent years there has been a trend toward feeding high-grain or low roughage level finishing rations to beef cattle.Such feeding programs minimize the nutritive contributions of roughage in the ration and place emphasis on the non-nutritive factors.The increased size of many feedlots coupled with the need for mechanization has brought about a demand for roughage substitutes.

Undigested feeds contained in the rumen at time of slaughter present a tremendous disposal problem for packing plants or for sewage treatment plants.The disposal of these materials also poses pollution problems.In many instances paunch material is washed into the community sewage system or simply piled and allowed to decompose.If left piled on the ground, paunch materials pollute the area and may contaminate local water supplies and, by their very presence, take up valuable space.If burned, air pollution can result.It may not be economical to use these products as a fertilizer because transportation costs may be prohibitive or they may further limit crop production or they may enter into some natural water supplies.

A solution to these problems may be the use of paunch material in animal feeds.Because of their unique digestive system, ruminant animals offer a means of disposing of as well as utilizing such fibrous feedstuffs.Since paunch feed may be odorous and not readily acceptable by cattle, and since only small amounts of roughage are needed in beef cattle finishing rations, it seemed logical to utilize paunch feed as a roughage source in beef cattle finishing rations.Dried paunch feed has a coarse texture, with hay and other fibrous materials up to several centimeters in length being evident.Thus it appears that paunch feed would incorporate into mechanical feedlot operations quite well.

The purpose of this study was to determine:1. The acceptability of low levels of paunch feed in beef cattle finishing rations, 2. Roughage characteristics of paunch feed in beef cattle finishing rations, 3. Performance (gains, feed consumption, and efficiency of feed utilization) of beef cattle fed paunch feed compared to hay, 4. The economic value of paunch feed compared to hay, and 5. The effect of chemical and pressure treatment of paunch feed upon in vitro dry matter disappearance.

Advisor:T. J. Klopfenstein