Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 38
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38 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 195
silage of a special supplement composed of alfalfa meal, molasses,
dried brewers' grains, and certain minerals increased the daily gain
of these steers to 1.09 pounds at a cost of only 20 cents per pound of
gain. The silage required to produce a pound of gain was reduced
from 102 to 31 pounds by use of this supplement. Previous research
had shown that preserving grass silage with corn materially improved
its feeding value.
Feeding experiments conducted by the Colorado station show that
dried beet pulp can replace up to half of the corn in a fattening ration,
with about equal feeding value, and a savings in total feed cost.
At the Illinois station, yearling steers full-fed high protein corn
(14.1 percent) and silage made from high protein corn gained as
rapidly and efficiently as similar steers fed regular corn and corn
silage plus 2 pounds of soybean meal.
Through efficient use of good quality roughage and pasture, the
Missouri station produced choice 2-year-old slaughter cattle with
much less grain than is normally used. Choice yearling steers wintered
on corn silage and lespedeza hay, and summer grazed on wheatlespedeza
pasture required only 10.7 bushels of corn plus supplement,
with a feeding period of 48 days to reach choice grade. Other steers
wintered on bluegrass and lespedeza made little gain. Although these
steers gained rapidly on summer pasture, they failed to overcome the
weight difference due to winter treatment. Steers summer grazed on
a combination of wheat and lespedeza gained 42 percent faster and
averaged a grade higher than those grazed on a mixture of fescue
The Idaho station has made a study to determine the optimum proportions
of concentrates to alfalfa hay for fattening beef cattle. The
most economical ratio of concentrates to hay for average price relation
was found to range between 2: 1 and 1: 3 for steer calves, and between
1: 1 and 1: 3 for yearling steers. Steer calves consumed from 716 to
934 pounds of feed for each 100 pounds of gain, whereas yearling
steers required from 998 to 1,246 pounds of feed, depending on the
ratio of concentrate to hay used.
At the Colorado station steers made the most economical gains when
the ratio of concentrates to roughage was increased at 4-week intervals
during the feeding period. These steers also had higher carcass grades
and dressing percentages than other steers fed concentrate to roughage
ratios of 1: 2, 1: 1, 2: 1, or 3: 1 throughout the feeding period.
The Utah station found that feeding sucrose to beef cattle and
swine 3 to 6 days before they were slaughtered resulted in increased
gains, improved the weight and flavor of their livers, and sometimes
increased their dressing percentage. The response of individual animals
varied considerably. Additional research is in progress to determine
optimum levels of sucrose and length of feeding period for best
Breeding and selection
Research in the improvement of beef cattle through breeding, involving
cooperation between the Department and the agricultural experiment
stations of 39 States and Hawaii, has continued with encouraging
results. A current problem is that of finding faster ways
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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/m1/40/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.