The Feeding Value and Digestibility of Dried
EEss5 o Tops For Steers UIE LIBRARY
y SEP 1 1972
C. E. Haines, H, L. Chapman, Jr. and R. W. KIdder
I.F.A.S. Univ. of Florid,
Continual efforts to find profitable outlets for the ws -o or nu"ie pr-
tions of agricultural crops have resulted in the testing of many prospective
materials for their value as livestock feedstuffs. In recent years, these efforts
have been intensified by the vegetable industries of Florida.
One of the major vegetable crops produced in south Florida is celery and
it is estimated that 500 pounds of dry feed equivalent per acre is left in the
field at harvest. Although small quantities of celery waste has been fed in the
fresh condition to cattle for short periods, its nutritive value has not been
determined for beef cattle. The high moisture content of celery waste suggests
that the material should probably be dehydrated to facilitate handling and to
prevent spoilage if considered for use as a concentrate feed.
Small samples of celery leaves and tops have been subjected to mechanical
dewatering with satisfactory results (1). The protein content of the dewatered
material was higher than that of many concentrate feedstuffs now in use. The
value of dried celery leaves in poultry rations has also been studied (2).
The study reported herein was undertaken to test the nutritional value of
dried celery tops in a fattening ration for steers and also to determine diges-
tibility coefficients. Dehydrated celery tops were secured from the crops har-
vested in the spring of 1958. The project was sponsored by several celery
producers of the Everglades area.
Thirty-two grade Hereford steers of similar conformation and condition were
selected from the herds of two commercial cattle raisers in the area. These
steers were allotted to four experimental groups according to origin and weight.
All groups were placed in concrete paved lots of equal size which contained auto-
matic water cups and wooden feed troughs. The average initial weight of the 32
steers was 581 pounds.
The quantity of dehydrated celery pulp, supplied for experimentation, was
17,819 pounds. Of this amount, approximately 2,000 pounds were retained for use
in a digestibility trial and the remainder used in the feeding trial. The test
material contained 25.29 percent crude protein, 15.30 percent crude fiber, 3.02
percent fat and 11.62 percent ash. Four test rations were formulated to contain
either 0, 10, 20 or 30 percent of dehydrated celery tops. Other ingredients of
the concentrate ration were altered so that each mixture contained 12.75 percent
crude protein. The composition of the experimental rations is shown in Table 1.
The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. A. Z. Palmer and his
staff at the University Meats Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida for conducting
the taste and tenderness studies on the meat samples secured from the experimentKal
February 1, 1959
W Everglades Station Mimeo Report 59-13
Table 1. Composition of Test Rations (percent)
Ingredient Ration 1 Ration 2 Ration 3 Ration 4
Celery Pulp 10.0 20.0 30.0
Sorghum Grain 45.6 40.2 34.6 29.2
Soybean Cil Meal 13.6 9.0 4.6
Citrus PulD 30.0 30.0 30.0 30.0
Citrus Molasses 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Mineral Mixture 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8
The experimental rations were full-fed daily. Dehydrated Bermudagrass was
provided free choice to each group. An 11 day adjustment period preceded the
112 day experimental feeding trial. Individual weights were secured at 28 day
intervals and market grades were placed on steers at the beginning and termination
of the trial by a committee of four.
The steers were slaughtered at the completion of the test and carcass grades
and various carcass measurements obtained. A sample of the loins were collected
for organoleptic tests. Rib eye area was measured and other quality factors re-
corded for each meat sample.
Differences between ration groups, for all factors studied, were compared
and tested for statistical significance by an analysis of variance (3).
Data from four Devon steers were used to obtain digestibility coefficients
for the dried celery tops. The steers were gradually conditioned to the intake
of straight dried celery tops in amounts sufficient for maintenance purposes. To
conform with previous findings, the preliminary period consisted of 7 days (4)
and the test collections were secured for 7 days (5). The steers weighed between
550 and 670 pounds and were maintained in concrete floored stanchions.
There was a decided difference in the gains made during the four 28 day
quarters of the test. The largest weight increases were experienced in the first
28 days of the study for all steers combined (3.2 lbs/day) but the gains realized
in the second and third 28 day quarters were almost as great. During the fourth
and final 28 day period all gains were very small and every steer in group three
actually lost weight in this final quarter. The poor performance by all steers
during this fourth test quarter cannot be explained.
The largest gains were made by the steers receiving the ration containing
30 percent dried celery tops and the smallest by those on the 20 percent dried
celery tops ration. The values in Table 2 indicate that the steers receiving
rations 1 and 2 consumed more of the concentrate but less dehydrated grass than
the stees receiving rations 3 and 4. 20 and 30 percent dried celery tops). There
appears to be a decided "breaking point" between the 10 and 20 percent ration
groups in the consumption of these two materials. The feed required, or utilized,
to produce a pound of gain appeared to be directly related to the average gains
made by the various groups; that is, groups making the largest gains also were
the most efficient utilizers of the concentrate ration. Differences between
ration groups for gains were not statistically significant.
Table 2. Average Gains and Feed Conversion for Test Period (Pounds)
Ration Number 1 2 3 4
% Celery in Ration 0 10 20 30
Number of Animals 8 8 8 8
Days on test 112 112 112 112
Aver. Pretest wt. 581.9 580.0 579.4 578.8
Aver. Initial wt. 659.4 665.0 660.0 618.8
Aver. Final wt. 909.4 920.0 870.0 893.8
Aver. Daily Gain 2.23 2.28 1.88 2.46
Aver. Daily Feed Cons. 19.7 19.8 18.1 18.0
Feed/l lb. Gain 8.83 8.68 9.63 7.32
Aver. Daily Hay Cons. 4.8 5.3 6.9 6.2
Dehydrated Hay/1 Ib. Gain 2.15 2.32 3.67 2.52
Although differences in the live grades of the animals, by ration groups
were not evident, overall market grades were improved during the feeding period
(Table 3). At the beginning of the study, a large majority of the steers were
graded as utility. The average market grade of the steers, at the end of the
trial was a high standard. The average federal carcass grade was slightly higher
than the average assigned market grade of these steers (Table 3). Although
actual individual ratings were made by thirds of a grade, these values were
combined within the recognized grade standards for this report. There was no
significant differences in carcass grades between ration groups.
Table 3. Number of Steers within each grade at three classification periods.
Market or Carcass Grade Cutter Utility Standard Good Choice
Pretest market grade 2 22 8 -
Posttest market grade 24 8 -
Federal carcass grade 16 15 1
The warm carcass weights of all steers averaged 500 pounds. The average
dressing percentage for all 32 steers was 58.7 percent and the carcasses shrank
an average of 1.7 percent during a 48 hour chill period. Although differences
between the ration groups in dressing percentages and shrink were rather small
(Table 4) they were statistically significant.
Table 4. Average Carcass Weights and Shrink for Ration Groups.
Ration Number 1 2 3 4
% Celery in Ration 0 10 20 30
Warm Carcass Weight (Ibs) 518 503 496 481
Dressing Percent 60.2 58.3 58.9 57.5
48 hr. Carcass Shrink (5) 1.5 1.8 1.6 1.8
The average length and circumference of rounds, length and thickness of
carcasses was 30.2, 30.1, 46.2 and 5.9 inches, respectively, for all 32 steers.
Differences between ration groups for these four factors and ratings given to
the color of both the fat and lean tissues were not statistically significant.
Also, most of the meat samples were considered above average in their degree of
tenderness, flavor and juiciness and differences between ration treatments were
not significant. Differences in the area of rib eyes were very small between
ration groups. Average rib eye areas were 10.3, 10.3, 10.2 and 9.9 square inches
for groups 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
A monetary value for the dried celery tops was obtained by comparing the
costs of equal amounts of the control ration and the rations containing the
dried celery tops, since only the actual cost of the test material was not known.
This computation showed that the dried celery tops were worth $3.00 a 100 pounds
or $60.00 a ton. Additional calculations, based on the actual amounts of dried
celery tops required to produce a unit of gain showed that the dried celery tops
were worth approximately $55.00 per ton.
Preliminary observations, for the digestibility trial, indicated that steers
would not eat the dried celery tops unless it was combined with ground snapped
corn. Therefore, the original ration for the digestibility trial consisted of 3
parts corn and 1 part dried celery tops. After a period of 13 days, in which
the ratio of corn to dried celery tops was reversed and further altered, the
steers consumed straight dried celery tops in sufficient amounts to maintain
body weights. The dried celery tops were fed twice daily for the 7 day pre-
liminary period and the 7 day collection period. The four steers were fed 6.0,
6.0, 6.0 and 6.6 pounds of dried celery tops, daily. The test material con-
tained 82.8 percent dry matter and the feces voided averaged 21.05 percent dry
matter for all four steers. A summary of the results of the digestibility trial
is shown in Table.5.
Table 5. Digestion Coefficients for Dried Celery Tops (f)
Animal Number 1 2 3 4 Average
Initial Weight (lbs) 550 625 550 670 598.9
Final Weight (ibs) 570 620 550 665 601.3
Protein 75.5 77.1 77.7 78.4 77.2
Fiber 83.2 85.9 83.3 83.7 84.0
NFE 84.7 85.2 87.8 86.6 86.1
Fat 56.9 62.7 66.7 67.4 63.4
Average TDN 78.0 79.9 80.4 80.2 79.5
Thirty-two Hereford cross-bred steers were divided equally into four groups
and fed a fattening ration in drylot for 112 days. The concentrate mixtures
contained either 0, 10, 20 or 30 percent of dried celery tops. Other ration
ingredients were adjusted so that each mixture contained 12.75 percent crude
protein. The concentrate was full-fed daily and dehydrated Bermudagrass was
Average daily gains were 2.23, 2.28, 1.88 and 2.46 pounds for animals
receiving rations containing 0, 10, 20 and 30 percent dried celery tops, respec-
tively. Steers on the 20 percent celery top ration were the least efficient con-
verters of concentrate and roughage to pounds of gain. Neither carcass nor meat
characteristics appeared to be affected by the inclusion of celery tops in the
Dried celery tops contained 25.0 percent crude protein and consisted of
82.8 percent dry matter. Data supplied by four additional steers indicated that
digestion coefficients of the celery material were 77.2, 84.0, 86.1 and 63.4
percent for crude protein, fiber, NFE and fat, respectively.(dry weight basis).
The T.D.N. value obtained was 79.5 percent.
The results of this study indicate that dried celery tops was a satisfactory
ingredient in a steer fattening ration since gains were as large on a ration
containing 30 percent celery as on a control ration. The digestibility of dried
celery tops was equal to and better than many of the feedstuffs presently used
in cattle rations. It was estimated that dried celery tops were worth between
$55.00 and $60.00 a ton in this feeding trial.
1. Randolph, J. W., J. P. Winfree and V. E. Green, Jr. 1958. Mechanical
Dewatering of Forage Crops. E.E.S. Mimeo Rpt. 58-14.
2. Davis, G. K., N. R. Mehrhof, J. C. Driggers and R. A. Dennison. 1951.
Dehydrated Celery Tops in Chick Rations. Fla. Cir. S-37.
3. Snedecor, G. W. 1946. Statistical Methods, 4th Edition. Iowa State College
4. Nicholson, J. W. G., E. H. Haynes, R. G. Warner and J. K. Loosli. 1956.
Digestibility of Various Rations by Steers as Influenced by the Length of
Preliminary Feeding Period. Jour. An. Sci. 15: 1172.
5. Staples, G. E. and W. E. Dinusson. 1951. A Comparison of the Relative
Accuracy Between Seven-Day and Ten-Day Collection Periods in Digestion
Trials. Jour. An. Sci. 10: 244.
EES Mimeo Report 59-13
Stencils re-cut and re-rrn
November 9, 1959