Everglades Station Mimeo Report EES65-16 February 1965
/ Cane Molasses, With and Without Fat or Cornmeal
in Pasture Steer-Fattening Program a/
-l ,i7 H. L. Chapman, Jr. b
J .1985 Y
The purpo es of the experiment presented in this preliminary report were
to obtain addi onal information concerning the use of molasses for fattening
sipture and to determine if vegetable fat (VegeFat) and/or cornmeal
Sad3 rthe value of cane molasses in steer fattening programs. Also,
two different stocking rates were evaluated, without cane molasses.
Sixty-eight, long yearling Brahman crossbred steers, having an average
initial weight of 680 pounds, were divided into five lots of 12 steers each
and one lot of 8 steers on the basis of weight grade and breed. The five
groups were randomly allotted to the experimental treatments outlined below.
All six groups were placed in 4-acre pastures of Roselawn St. Augustinegrass,
thus lot one was stocked at the rate of two animals per acre and the other
5 lots at the rate of three animals per acre.
Lot Number Experimental Treatment
1 No molasses, (2 steers per acre)
2 No molasses, (3 steers per acre)
3 Cane molasses
4 Cane molasses + VegeFat
5 Cane molasses + cornmeal
6 Cane molasses + VegeFat + cornmeal
Daily feed consumption per steer was 4.0 pounds of cane molasses, 0.5
pound VegeFat and 2.0 pounds of cornmeal for those groups receiving these feeds.
The steers were continued on experiment 206 days, beginning May 16. Mineral
mixture was provided free choice. Each steer received 24 milligrams of stil-
bestrol implanted at the beginning of the experiment plus an injection of vitamin
A every 28 days to furnish 25,000 units of vitamin A per day. Each steer was
treated twice with phenothiazine and hexachlorethane at a 21-day interval prior
to being placed on study. At the conclusion of the experiment the cattle were
transported to Lykes Brothers, Tampa, for carcass evaluations.
Average weight changes, carcass data and return above feed costs are pre-
sented in Table 1. Total gain per steer for each group at various times are
presented in Table 2. The steers receiving no supplemental feed had an overall
daily gain increase of 0.15 pounds when stocked at the rate of 2 animals/acre
as compared to 3 per acre. However, the rate of gain for the two groups was
relatively equal until approximately October 1 when the steers stocked at the
heavier weight ceased to gain and during the last 38 days on the experiment
Cane molasses and experimental animals were furnished by U. S. Sugar Corpora-
tion, Clewiston, Florida. VegeFat was furnished by VegeFat, Inc., East St.
Louis, Illinois. Stilbestrol was furnished by Chas. Pfizer and Co., Terre
b/ Animal Nutritionist, Everglades Experiment Station, Belle Glade, Florida.
actually lost 32 pounds per steer. The difference in weight gains of the two
non-supplemented groups during October, and November emphasizes the importance
of not over-stocking pastures during the fall and winter months.
All of the steers lost weight during the last 38 days except the group
receiving molasses with both cornmeal and VegeFat, indicating all of the pastures
were overstocked at the level of supplemental feed furnished the cattle, again
stressing the importance of balancing stocking rate with the quantity and quality
of available pasture and daily intake rate of supplemental feed. The use of cane
molasses increased the total gain per steer 72 pounds when compared to steers
stocked at the same rate per acre. The use of cornmeal did not appreciably in-
crease the gain.' VegeFat increased the rate of gain in both groups, as compared
to plain molasses and also improved carcass grade as compared to the 2 molasses-
fed groups that did not receive VegeFat.
All groups receiving supplemental feed returned more gross income, after
feed costs were deducted, than either groups receiving no supplemental feed.
The greatest return was obtained from the steers receiving molasses with VegeFat.
This was primarily due to the higher weight gain and slightly higher carcass.
Table 1. Average weight, carcass and cost data (206 days on test).
molasses, molasses, -Molasses,
2 steers 3 steers Molasses, Molasses, VegeFat,
per acre per acre. Molasses VegeFat cornmeal cornmeal
Number of steers 8 12 12 12 12 12
Final wt. (Ib) 871 845 913 955 928 962
Initial wt. (Ib) 677 682 678 682 680 681
Total gain (lb) 194 163 235 273 248 281
Daily gain (Ib) 0.94 0.79 1.14 1.33 1.20 1.36
Wt. at packing house 822 797 861 901 876 908
Warm carcass wt. (Ib) 464 443 514 548 536 558
Gross dressing %a 56.45 55.58 59.70 60.82 61.19 61.45
Net dressing %b/ 53.49 52.68 56.55 57.67 58.11 58.31
Good 0 0 1 1 0 2
Standard 6 8 9 11 12 10
Utility 2 4 2 0 0 0
Final carcass value ($) c/ 143.97 135.47 163.06 179.50 173.90 183.93
Feed cost ($) d/ -- -- 8.24 16.48 20.60 28.84
Return above feed cost ($) 143.97 135.47 154.82 163.02 153.30 155.09
Gross dressing percent =
Warm carcass weight
Packers live weight
TWm r ^ ss c a i r.rcn rhkt
- Old t rawlr
Net dressing per cent = .. 2
Final weight 37 shrink
Cattle sold on a net carcass weight and grade basis. U.S. Good, $36.50; U.S.
Standard, $33.25; and U.S. Utility, $27.00 cwt. Net carcass weight was warm
carcass wt. 2%.
Costs used in calculating feed costs were cane molasses @ $20.00 per ton; Vege-
Fat @ $160.00 per ton; and cornmeal @ $60.00 per ton.
Table 2. Total gain, per steer for weight periods (Ib).
SDays on Experiment
Treatment 26 56 64 112 140 166 206
2 steers/acre 52 .97 134 167 189 207 194
3 steers/acre 52 84 133 170 192 195 163
Molasses 62 102 163 202 235 255 235
Molasses and VegeFat 55 106 162 218 256 282 273
Molasses and cornmeal 38 88 143 194 230 '251 248
Molasses, VegeFat, and 48 106 166 207 251 272 281