Everglades Station Mimeo 61-19 June 22, 1961
Feeding Value of Limited Fed Mixed Feed, Citrus Pulp, Ground Snapped
Corn and Blackstrap Molasses for Fattening Steers on Pasture 1/
H. L. Chapman, Jr., C. E. Haines and R. W. Kidder 2
The use of Florida produced feedstuffs for fattening cattle has been the
object of study by various workers of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion. Kirk et al presented work which showed that blackstrap molasses was a
satisfactory ingredient in steer fattening rations. These studies used black-
strap molasses as an ingredient in a fattening ration, and not as a single
ingredient for fattening cattle. Chapman, et al compared the feeding value
of blackstrap molasses, ground snapped corn and dried citrus pulp in earlier
work and reported the three to be approximately equal in feeding value when
used in steer fattening rations. However, the earlier studies did not employ
equal intakes of the three feeds nor were the single ingredients compared to
a mixed feed. The purpose of the study reported in this paper was to obtain
further information concerning the relative merits of the three feedstuffs,
when fed as the only source of supplemental energy for steers being fattened
on Roselawn St. Augustine pastures, and to compare their value with .a mixed
concentrate feed, comprised of ground snapped corn, dried citrus pulp and
Forty two-year-old predominantly crossbred steers having an average high
utility slaughter grade were divided into five equal groups of eight animals
each, on the basis of weight and breed composition, and allowed at random to
the experimental treatments. The experimental design was as follows:
Lot Feed cost/
number Treatment cwt.
1 Pasture only. $ ,
2 Pasture + dried citrus pulp 2.28 .
3 Pasture + blackstrap molasses 1.10 '-'
4 Pasture + ground snapped corn 2.45 1
5 Pasture + mixed feed 3.06
All of the supplemental feeds were fed at the rate of six pounds per animal
per day. The animals were fed each morning at the same time. The mixed feed
was 40.0 percent ground snapped corn, 38.3 percent dried citrus pulp, 20.0
percent 41% cottonseed meal and 1.7 percent of a complete mineral mixture.
The ground snapped corn was produced at the Everglades Experiment Station,
the Blackstrap molasses was straight mill-run molasses obtained from the
U.S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, and the dried citrus pulp from Florida
1/ Acknowledgment is made to L.V. Morris, Tom Swager, J.V. McLeod and others
who assisted in the conduction of this experiment.
2/ Associate Animal Nutritionist, Assistant Animal Husbandman and Animal
Husbandman, Everglades Experiment Station.
Citrus Canners Cooperative, Lake Wales. The experimental animals were treated
with 6 ounces of phenothiazine at twenty-one day intervals prior to being
placed on experiment. The steers were on feed for a period of 140 days be-
ginning November 9, 1960. At the conclusion of the feeding period, the steers
were taken to a Miami packinghouse in order to obtain shipping and carcass
The average weight changes, carcass data and return per steer over steer
and feed costs are presented in Table 1. The average daily gain for the steers
on pasture alone was 1.05 pounds as compared to 1.71, 1.43, 1.59 and 1.65 pounds
for the animals receiving dried citrus pulp, cane molasses, ground snapped corn
and mixed feed, respectively. There was no significant effect of treatment
upon intransit shrink. Dressing percent was significantly increased by feed-
ing the supplemental feeds as compared to pasture alone and 48-hour cooler
shrink significantly reduced. While steers on citrus pulp and cane molasses
gained an average of 2/3 of a grade as compared to 1/3 of a grade for the
animals in the other groups, this diffccence was not statistically signifi-
Table 1. Summary of average weight change, carcass data and return, per steer,
for animals receiving a mixed ration vs. single ingredients.
No Citrus Cane snapped Mixed
Feed pulp molasses corn feed
Final weight (Ibs.) 839 931 875 914 923
Initial weight (Ibs.) 692 692 675 691 692
Total gain (Ibs.) 147 239 200 223 231
Daily gain (Ibs.) 1 1.05 1.71 1.43 1.59 1.65
Intransit shrink 3.52 4.83 5.31 4.90 4.54
Dressing percent (-/ 54.94 57.82 56.45 56.25 55.84
Cooler shrink (%) / 1.20 0.76 0.71 0.79 0.58
Change in grade (1/3) 1 2 2 1 1
Final value ($) 163.52 190.21 173.37 180.92 182.42
Initial value ($) 137.82 136.94 134.66 138.28 139.22
Feed cost 00.00 19.18 10.78 20.58 25.76
Return above feed 25.70 34.09 27.93 22.06 17.44
I/ Average daily gain and dressing
level of probability.
percent differences significant at 0.01
2/ Cooler shrink differences significant at 0.05 level of probability.
Table 2. Summary of average daily gains by weight period (Ibs.)
Experimental Days on feed
treatment 56 k4 112 140
Pasture only 1.64 1.32 1.06 1.05
Citrus pulp 1.89 1.79 1.68 1.71
Cane molasses 1.86 1.52 1.43 1.43
Ground snapped corn 1.96 1.67 1.47 1.59
Mixed feed 1.86 1.77 1.68 1.65
The return per animal, above initial steer costs and feed costs is also
presented in Table one. Ground snapped corn and mixed feed treatments had
comparable gains and change in grade but a greater return was realized from
the steers receiving the ground snapped corn, due to lower feed costs. Al-
though the steers receiving the cane molasses had the lowest rate of gain
of any of the supplemented groups, the second highest return was realized,'
due to the lower feed costs involved. The highest return per steer was
realized from the steers receiving the dried citrus pulp.
A summary of the average weight changes (daily gains) for weight periods
is presented in Table 2. The average daily gains for the steers on all sup-
plemental groups was relatively equal for the first 56 days on feed. As the
availability of the pasture decreased there was less decrease in gain by the
steers receiving the dry feeds, as compared to the molasses fed group, em-
phasizing the need for an adequate supply of available forage if blackstrap
molasses is to be used as the only supplemental feed.
Chapman, H. L., Jr., R. W. Kidder and S. W. Plank. 1953. Comparative feeding
value of citrus molasses, cane molasses, ground snapped corn and dried
citrus pulp for fattening steers on pasture. Fla. Ag. Exp. Sta. Bull.
Kirk, W. G., E. M. Kelly, H. G. Fulford and H. E. Henderson. 1956. Feeding
value of citrus and blackstrap molasses for fattening cattle. Fla. Ag.
Exp. Sta. Bull. 575.