Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 37
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ANIMAL HUSBANDRY 3RESEARCH 37
occur so rapidly that treatment cannot be effective. Good management
and close observation are the most effective means of reducing
losses from poisonous plants. Supplemental feed will usually prevent
animals from grazing the unpalatable poisonous plants.
Halogeton has received more recent attention than any other poisonous
range plant and several of the western stations have been doing
research on it. Studies by the Utah station show that animals can
graze ranges heavily infected with halogeton if they are handled
wisely. Dense patches should be avoided but sparse stands, in mixture
with other vegetation, ordinarily can be grazed without danger, provided
they are not overgrazed and the animals are allowed to spread
out and graze normally. It was found that as much as two-thirds
of the diet can be composed of halogeton without harmful results if
the plant is consumed slowly over a day's time with other feed.
The Colorado station reports that a range plant called Lithospermum,
growing on Western Slope dry lands, is thought to affect the
fertility of livestock when eaten, thus lowering the calf and lamb
crops. The plant is being collected for further analysis and testing.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY RESEARCH
Experiment station research in livestock breeding, nutrition, physiology,
management, and related phases is contributing materially to
improvement in the quality and productive efficiency of the various
species of livestock. The research is directed: (1) Toward specific
and immediate problems affecting the production of beef cattle, sheep,
and swine; and (2) toward the development of basic knowledge needed
in evolving more effective breeding methods, and a clearer understanding
of physiological processes and nutritional requirements of
farm animals under varying environmental conditions. These fundamental
studies provide the necessary foundation for future research
on practical problems. A few examples of the progress of research
in animal science are given here.
Improving efficiency of beef production
Research at the Ohio station has shown that additional minerals
may be needed in feeding low quality roughages to beef cattle. Average
daily gains of steers fed a conventional fattening ration and latecut
timothy hay were increased significantly by adding alfalfa ash
or a combination of iron, copper, cobalt, manganese, and zinc to the
ration. Equally good results were obtained by adding 1 pound of
cane molasses or the ash from a pound of molasses. Urea, plus 1
pound of molasses, satisfactorily replaced one-half of the soybean
meal, but was less valuable as a source of protein (nitrogen) when fed
with good quality roughage. Rations containing good roughage were
superior to any of these.
Although grass silage is an excellent feed for cattle, it has certain
nutritional deficiencies that should be corrected by adding suitable
supplements to obtain maximum feeding value. Steers fed a mixed
legume-grass silage plus minerals, by the Indiana station, gained only
0.32 pound daily at a cost of 50 cents a pound. The addition to the
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/39/: accessed July 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.