NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
January 21, 1958
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3
STEER FATTENING TRIAL AT THE NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
by F. S. Baker, Jr.
Yearling steers fed ground shelled corn or a mixture of ground shelled and ground"
snapped corn did not gain faster than similar cattle fed ground snapped corn as the
principal component of the fattening ration. Steers on the ground shelled corn
ration graded higher in the carcass and were worth somewhat more per cwt. when
finished than either the cattle fed ground snapped corn or those fed a mixture of
ground snapped corn and ground shelled corn. With ground shelled corn valued at
$42 per ton and ground snapped corn at $35 per ton, the ground shelled corn ration
gave a higher net return. Results from the ground snapped corn ration and the ration
with a mixture of ground shelled and ground snapped corn were similar.
Gains made by steers implanted with 36 mg. stilbestrol and those with a 200 mg.
progesterone-20 mg. estradiol (SSM-7) implant did not differ greatly. Because of
slightly higher carcass grading, the SSM-7 implanted cattle had approximately $2.00
more net return per head but more work is needed before definite conclusions can be
Steers fed 2.5 pounds 41% cottonseed meal made the same gain as similar cattle
given 2.0 pounds 55% peanut oil meal as the protein supplement. The cattle on the
cottonseed meal ration ate slightly more feed, graded higher, and had a higher net
return per head than those on the peanut meal ration.
In contrast to previous results, a ration composed of ground cobs and shucks
plus a special roughage supplement did not give a satisfactory or economical gain
during the first part of the fattening period with yearling steers. Neither the
program of feeding the ground cobs and supplement followed by a full-feed of grain
nor that of giving a half-feed of cobs and a half-feed of grain throughout the
fattening period produced enough finish to make the cob feeding economical. Based
on the results of this and other studies, it appears that ground cobs and shucks
can be better utilized in wintering rather than fattening rations.
Inquiries have been made concerning the relative value of ground snapped and
ground shelled corn for fattening steers. Although a number cf trials have indicated
the superiority of shelled cornl, relative prices usually make ground snapped corn
more economical in this area. In a previous trial at this Station, adding a limited
quantity of ground shelled corn to a steer ration during the last 60 da
fattening period did not improve results2. Eighty pounds of snapped
accepted as one bushel, even tough this quantity of corn often con more t
56 pounds shelled corn. Improved hybrids which produce larger ear d the use o C'
corn pickers that remove par rpf the shuck have resulted in snapped d~~r w l
1/ Morrison, F. B. 1956. Feeds and Feeding, Morrison Publishing 17.
2/ Baker, F. S., Jr. NFES Mimeo Rpt. 56-1. Li
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3 continued -2-
higher shelling percentage than a few years ago when the 80 pound bushel for snafped
corn ws3 established.
A recent trial with a 1000 mg. progesterone-20 mg. estradiol (Synovex) implant
resulted in larger and more economical gains than no treatment, stilbestrol feeding,
or stilbestrol implants3. A new modified Synovex implant (with the level of proges-
terone reduced to 200 mg.) became available and was included in the experiment
Peanut oil meal is available in quantity in this area, and development of high
protein (55%) peanut meal has resulted in a number of inquiries concerning the
relative value of the high protein peanut meal and cottonseed meal, which furnishes
the major part of the protein in local steer fattening rations. Work at the Texas
Station indicates a similar value for 43% cottonseed and 43% peanut oil meals,
although the peanut meal rations were less palatable4. In the Texas study there was
no appreciable difference in carcass grade of cattle fed the respective meals.
In a recent trial, use of properly supplemented cobs in the early part of the
fattening period resulted in less expensive gains than that made by grain-fed
controls;. Although finish was apparently delayed by the cob feeding, the economy
of gain of cob-fed cattle made a program of cob feeding followed by grain feeding
appear promising for cattle carried to a moderate degree of finish.
Yearling ofeder steers were purchased in auction sales in Albany, Georgia and
North Florida. The cattle, which were predominantly.of British breeding, were
Herefords, crossbred Hereford-Angus, and Angus, with a few head showing evidence of a
small amount of dairy breeding. The steers were medium to good in quality, and a few
used in the ground cob test (see later paragraph) were slightly staggy, evidently
as a result of being castrated at a rather mature age.
Comparison ground shelled and ground snapped corn.--Twenty-four good quality
Hereford, Angus, and crossbred yearling steers were divided as equally as possible
into three groups and fed the following rations:
Lot I Lot II Lot III
Ground shelled corn Equal weights ground Ground snapped corn.
shelled and ground
Citrus molasses Citrus molasses Citrus molasses
Protein supplement Protein supplement Protein supplement
Coastal Bermuda hay Coastal Bermuda hay Coastal Bermuda hay
Concentrates were fed once daily in the morning. Corn was fed according to
appetite after the cattle were on full-feed. Citrus molasses was limited to 4 pounds
per head daily. Half of the steers in each of the three groups were given 2.5 pounds
41% cottonseed meal and half received 2.0 pounds 55% peanut oil meal per head daily.
Hay was self-fed, and free access was given to salt and steamed bonemeal in separate
troughs. Each steer was implanted with 36 mg. stilbestrol at the start of the
3/ Baker, F. S., Jr. NFES Mimeo Rpt. 57-10.
4/ Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Bul. 685.
5/ Baker, F. S. Jr., 1957. NFES Mimeo Rpt. 57-7.
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3 continued.
At the beginning of the trial, the cattle were weighed on two consecutive days
and the average of these weights (not shrunk) was taken as the initial weight.
Final weight was obtained after trucking three miles to Quincy and was shrunk 3
percent from scale weight. The shrunk final weight was used in calculating gain,
carcass yield, and gross return per steer. Carcass weight was obtained by deducting
2.5 percent from warm weight of the carcass. The cattle were slaughtered the same
day they were removed from the feedlot.
Stilbestrol versus progesterone-estradiol implants.--Two groups of good quality
yearling steers were fed the following ration:
Ground snapped corn full-fed according to appetite
Protein supplement half of each group 2.5 lbs. 41% c.s.
half 2.0 lbs. 55% peanut oil meal.
Citrus molasses 4 lbs. per head daily
Coastal Bermuda hay self-fed.
Salt and steamed bonemeal self-fed separately.
The concentrates were fed once daily in the morning.
Following were the implants made:
Lot 3 Lot 4
36 mg. stilbestrol, initially Modified Synovex (SSM-7), initially
The modified Synovex (SSM-7) implant contained 200 mg. progesterone and 20 mg.
estradiol benzoate. This was one-fifth as much progesterone as contained in the
regular Synovex implant used in the preceding trials.
Weighing conditions and slaughter procedure were the same as that for the
shelled corn snapped corn comparison described previously.
Comparison 41% cottonseed and 55% peanut oil meal as the protein supplement.--
Half (4 head) of each of the four groups of steers in the shelled corn snapped
corn and the stilbestrol Synovex comparisons were fed 2.5 pounds 41% cottonseed
meal, and the other half of each group received 2.0 pounds 55% peanut oil meal
as the protein supplement.
Use of ground cobs and shucks in the fattening ration.--Twenty-five medium to
good quality yearling steers were divided into three approximately equal groups and
fed the following rations in dry lot:
Ground snapped corn full-fed according to appetite.
Citrus molasses 4 lbs. per head daily.
41% cottonseed meal 2.5 lbs. per head daily.
Coastal Bermuda hay self-fed.
Salt and steamed bonemeal free choice.
6/ See footnote 3, page 2.
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3 continued. -4-
Ground cobs and shucks self-fed.
Special roughage supplement.
2.25 Ibs. 41% cottonseed meal
0.25 lb. citrus molasses
0.18 lb. steamed bonemeal
0.06 lb. salt
0.01 lb. Vitamin A concentrate
2.75 Ibs. per head daily
Trace mineralized salt self fed.
Ground snapped corn according to appetite
Citrus molasses 4 Ibs. per head daily
Protein supplement 2.5 lbs. per head daily
Ground cobs and shucks 3 Ibs. per head daily
Trace mineralized salt self-fed
First and second periods
Ground snapped corn and citrus molasses approximately half-feed.
Ground cobs and shucks according to appetite.
Special roughage supplement (same as Lot 6)
Trace mineralized salt self fed.
The special roughage supplement fed to Lots 6 and 7 was pelleted. Cattle were
fed once daily in the morning. Each steer was given 36 mg. stilbestrol implant at
the start of the trial.
The cattle were slaughtered the same day they were removed from the feedlot. It
was planned to slaughter all three groups when they reached about the same degree of
finish; however, it became apparent that Lots 6 and 7, which were fed the cobs and
shucks, would not reach the same finish in a reasonable length feeding period as the
Lot 5 control cattle, which were fattened on a conventional grain ration. As shown
later, the two ground cob groups were fed for 42 (Lot 7) and 67 (Lot 6) days longer
than the control group (Lot 5). Slaughter procedure and weighing conditions were
the same as previously described for the other studies reported.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Comparison ground shelled and ground snapped corn.--As shown in Table 1-580,
gains were approximately the same for the shelled corn (Lot 1), half shelled and half
snapped corn (Lot 2), and snapped corn (Lot 3) groups. The steers fed shelled corn
were slightly fatter and were worth somewhat more per pound when slaughtered. The
market prices shown were the actual prices received when the carcasses were sold,
and live weight prices were calculated from actual prices received and carcass
yields. Feed cost per 100 pounds gain favored the snapped corn group (Lot 3); but
because of the higher market price received for the shelled corn cattle (Lot 1),
net return per head of the two lots did not differ greatly when the ground shelled
corn was charged at $60 and the ground snapped corn at $35 per ton. With ground
shelled corn at $42 and ground snapped corn at $35 per ton (approximate relative
values based on total nutrient content), the net return per head for the ground
shelled corn lot was about $8 higher than for the other two groups.
7/ See footnote 1, Pae e 1.
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NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3 continued
It should be noted that the cattle fed ground shelled corn (Lot 1) ate the most
hay and those fed ground snapped corn (Lot 3) consumed the least. Hay consumption of
the steers fed a mixture of ground shelled and ground snapped corn (Lot 2) was
SStilbestrol versus estradiol-progesterone implants.--Results of this comparison
are presented in Table 2-580.
The estradiol-progesterone implant (SSM-7) used in this trial contained only
one-fifth as much progesterone as the regular Synovex implant used in the previous
test8. Estradiol content of the two implants was the same.
The gain made by the cattle with the SSM-7 implant (Lot 4) was not much greater
than that of the stilbestrol-implanted steers (Lot 3). Carcasses of the SSM-7
implanted cattle were slightly heavier but their net return per head was only about
$2.00 per head higher. Because of the relatively small differences obtained, further
studies will be necessary before recommendations can be made.
Comparison of 41% cottonseed and 55% peanut oil meal as the protein supplement.-
As previously stated, this study was superimposed on the ground shelled corn ground
snapped corn and the stilbestrol SSM-7 implant comparisons. Table 3-580 gives the
Gains made by the steers fed cottonseed and those on peanut meal were about the
same. Steers fed peanut meal ate slightly less feed and had a lower feed cost per
100 pounds gain. The cattle given cottonseed meal graded higher and sold for $1.61
more per cwt. in the carcass and $1.03 more per cwt. on a live weight basis. The
higher selling price resulted in a $4.17 greater net return per head from the cattle
fed cottonseed meal. These results are in contrast to results obtained at the Texas
Station where the carcass grades of cattle fed the two meals did not differ9.
Because of the disagreement in results of the trial at this Station and the Texas
work, this study will be continued to obtain more conclusive data.
Use of ground cobs and shucks in the fattening ration.--In contrast to a
previous trial-O, a ration composed of ground cobs and shucks supplemented with only
a protein-mineral-vitamin concentrate and a small amount of molasses did not give an
adequate or economical gain during the first part of the fattening period (Table 4-
580). Although the cob feeding period was followed by 80 days of full-feeding on
grain (Lot 6), finish was delayed by the cob feeding; and results from the 90 day
cob feeding followed by 80 days on grain did not compare favorably with those
obtained with a conventional fattening ration for 103 days (Lot 5). It should be
noted that the consumption of ground cobs and shucks by the Lot 6 steers averaged
about 3 pounds per head daily less than in the earlier trial. Results were more
satisfactory with a half grain half cob ration fed for 145 days (Lot 7) as
compared with the full-feed of cobs followed by a full feed of grain (Lot 6), which
also contrasted with previous results. However, the half-grain-half cob ration did
not produce comparable results to the control grin ration (Lot 5), even though
the former was fed for 42 days longer.
The foregoing results suggest that ground cobs and shucks could be better
utilized in wintering rather than fattening rations.
.8/ See footnote 3, page 2.
9/ See footnote 4, page 2.
10/ See footnote 5, page 2.
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Table 3-580. 41% Cottonseed Meal Versus 55% Peanut Oil Meal
Average initial weight
Average final weight
Average daily gain
Average Daily Rations:
Ground shelled corn
Ground snapped corn
Coastal Bermuda Hay
Pounds Feed Per 100 Pounds Gain:
Mineral (Salt and bonemeal)
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Average sale weight
Average carcass weight
Average carcass yield (percent)
**Market value per cwt. carcasses
**Market value per cwt. on foot
Average cost feeder steer
Average feed cost
Average cost cattle and feed
Gross return per steer
Average net return above cattle and feed
* Feed Prices Used: See Table 1-580.
**Prices Received for Carcasses: See Table 1-580.
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NFES Mimeo Rpt. 58-3 continued.
Stilbestrol implants were supplied by Wick & Fry, Inc., Cumberland, Indiana.
Modified Synovex (SSM-7) implants were furnished by The Squibb Institute of
Medical Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey.