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Effects of crude glycerin in steam-flaked corn-based diets fed to growing feedlot cattle

Hales, K. E., Bondurant, R. G., Luebbe, M. K., Cole, N. A., MacDonald, J. C.
Journal of animal science 2013 v.91 pp. 3875
alfalfa hay, beef cattle, cattle feeding, cattle feeds, corn, diet, dry matter intake, feed conversion, feedlots, liveweight gain, steers
Crude glycerin is a by-product of biodiesel production and has recently become more available as a livestock feed with the growth of the biofuel industry. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of crude glycerin (GLY) as a feed ingredient in steam-flaked corn (SFC)-based growing diets fed to beef cattle. In Exp. 1, crossbred steers (n = 50; initial BW = 282 ± 2 kg) were used to determine the effects of GLY when included at 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10% of DM in a growing diet on cattle performance. In Exp. 2, crossbred steers (n = 54; initial BW = 283 ± 1 kg) were used to determine the effects of replacing SFC (REPSFC) or alfalfa hay (REPAH) with 7.5% GLY or a control diet without GLY (CON) on growing steer performance. In Exp. 1, final BW tended to respond in a quadratic manner (P = 0.09) in which it increased from 0 to 7.5% GLY and decreased from 7.5 to 10% GLY. Dry matter intake did not differ (P > 0.23), yet ADG responded quadratically (P = 0.04), where it increased from 0 to 7.5% GLY and decreased from 7.5 to 10% GLY. Feed efficiency (G:F) decreased linearly (P = 0.05) with increasing GLY concentration. In Exp. 2, final BW was greater for steers fed REPAH than CON or REPSFC (P = 0.04). Steers fed REPAH had a greater ADG than CON or REPSFC (P = 0.04). When GLY replaced SFC, ADG increased from 0 to 7.5% GLY where it was maximized before decreasing from 7.5 to 10% GLY inclusion. Replacing 7.5% of alfalfa hay (AH) in a growing diet with GLY can be beneficial to animal performance, which is likely the result of GLY being greater in energy than AH.