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Use of ramp in grain adaptation and receiving programs for beef cattle
Several experiments were conducted to evaluate using RAMP, a complete starter feed (Cargill Corn Milling, Blair NE) which contains a high level of Sweet Bran and a minimal amount of forage, for receiving lightweight calves and adapting cattle to high-grain diets. Two experiments were conducted to compare feeding RAMP with a traditional receiving diet to lightweight calves for the first 30 d of the feeding period. Seven experiments compared using RAMP to adapt cattle to high grain diets to a traditional grain adaptation program or evaluated using RAMP to adapt cattle to high grain diets in fewer days. Three of these trials were metabolism studies that evaluated DMI and ruminal pH of cattle during grain adaptation. Feeding RAMP to newly received lightweight calves improved G:F and did not affect the incidence of BRD. Using RAMP to adapt cattle to high grain diets resulted in increased G:F and HCW when compared using a traditional grain adaptation program with alfalfa hay. No major differences in ruminal pH were observed between cattle adapted with RAMP or a traditional system but RAMP decreased ruminal pH variation during grain adaptation which may suggest less acidosis. In a metabolism study eliminating the adaptation period resulted in decreased ruminal pH and increased pH variance when compared to longer more traditional adaptation with more step diets. Although pH was lower in the metabolism study for cattle transitioned directly from RAMP to a finishing diet, performance was not affected in 2 feedlot trials when compared to a 4-step adaptation program with RAMP. In the final metabolism study, regardless of adaptation period length (10 or 22 d), RAMP treatments increased eating time and average ruminal pH during the adaptation period. This may suggest less acidosis when using RAMP to start cattle on feed. Cattle fed RAMP for 10 d can be transitioned directly to a finishing diet containing 47.5% Sweet Bran without negatively affecting performance.
Schneider, Cody James, "Use of ramp in grain adaptation and receiving programs for beef cattle" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3558868.