Introduction and procedure
 Results and discussion
 Literature cited

Group Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report - University of Florida Department of Animal Science ; no. AN69-12
Title: Fossil shell flour (diatomaceous earth) in combination with urea or soybean meal for finishing steers
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073014/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fossil shell flour (diatomaceous earth) in combination with urea or soybean meal for finishing steers
Series Title: Animal Science Department mimeograph report
Physical Description: 14 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hillis, William Gordon, 1944-
University of Florida -- Dept. of Animal Science
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1969
Subject: Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Diatomaceous earth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Urea as feed   ( lcsh )
Soybean meal as feed   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 13-14).
Statement of Responsibility: W.G. Hillis ... et al..
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "June, 1969."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073014
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 79474212

Table of Contents
    Introduction and procedure
        Page 1
    Results and discussion
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Literature cited
        Page 13
        Page 14
Full Text

Animal Science Department Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Report No. AN 69-12 Experiment Station
June, 1969 Gainesville, Florida


W. G. Hillis, C. B. Ammerman, A. Z. Palmer, and L. R. Arrington/

Fossil shell flour (diatomaceous earth) is being used in the finely
ground form in the feed industry as an anticaking agent for certain in-
gredients and as an additive to prevent bridging of certain feeds. There
have been suggestions that this material may have nutritional value,
although no data to this effect were found in the literature. To test
this suggestion, the present study was conducted to determine the com-
parative feeding value of three levels of fossil shell flour in combination
with three sources of supplemental nitrogen for finishing steers. The
sources of nitrogen included soybean meal and urea with the latter fed
either in the meal or pelleted portion of the diet.


Forty-five yearling beef steers of British breeding were used in
this experiment. The steers were ear tagged, vaccinated for blackleg
and malignant edema and implanted with two, 12 mg. pellets of diethylstil-
bestrol two weeks before experimental feeding was started. During the
pre-trial period, Bermudagrass hay was fed ad libitum and approximately
6 pounds of a ration containing 40% dried citrus pulp, 40% ground snapped
corn, 17% cottonseed meal, 1% urea 281, 1% trace mineralized salt and 1%
deflourinated phosphate were fed per steer daily.

The steers averaged 705 pounds initially and were randomly allotted
from weight outcome groups to nine treatments with five steers per treat-
ment. The experimental design was a 3 x 3 factorial arrangement which

This study was supported in part by funds from Perma-Guard Corp.,
Phoenix, Arizona. Acknowledgment is made to American Cyanamid Company,
Princeton, New Jersey, for supplying Aurofac-10; to E. I. DuPont De
Nemours & Co., Atlanta, Georgia for supplying urea; and to Chas. Pfizer
& Co., Inc., Terre Haute, Indiana for supplying vitamins A and D.
SHillis, Graduate Research Assistant; Ammerman, Associate Animal
Nutritionist; Palmer, Meat Scientist and Arrington, Animal Nutritionist.
The assistance of Sara M. Miller and D. J. Hemstreet is acknowledged.
The authors are particularly grateful to Mr. W. L. Jackson, Sr., Lakeland
Cash Feed Company, Lakeland, Florida, for pelleting the citrus pulp.

- 2 -

included three levels of fossil shell flour (finely ground diatomaceous
earth) (0, 1.5, and 3.0%) and three sources of supplemental nitrogen
(soybean meal, urea mixed with the total citrus pulp portion of diet and
pelleted, and urea added to the diet at time of mixing). The various
treatments and the composition of diets are illustrated in table 1. All
diets contained 45% pelleted citrus pulp of good quality. The citrus
pulp had been ground in a hammer mill and then made into pellets one-
quarter inch in diameter. The pelleted pulp containing urea was prepared
by mixing 4% of urea 281 with the ground pulp and then pelleting in a
similar manner. The complete diets contained an average of 11.9% crude
protein by analysis with urea or soybean meal supplying 47% of the total

Initially the steers were fed 7 pounds of the concentrate mixture
per head daily and this amount was increased 1 pound per steer daily
until feed was refused. The concentrate was fed twice daily in equal
feedings and during the first two weeks, long Bermudagrass hay was fed
ad libitum. The hay was then reduced to 2 pounds per head daily for a
period of 2 weeks at which time no hay was fed for a period of 1 week.
Since there appeared to be a desire for roughage, the feeding of long
hay was resumed at the rate of 1 pound per head daily for a period of
7 weeks. To measure effect on concentrate consumption, the feeding of
hay was again stopped for a 2-week period. The feeding of 1 pound per
head daily of long hay was then resumed for the remainder of the 111-day
trial. No minerals were fed except those mixed in the concentrate.

Individual steer weights were taken on 2 successive days at the
beginning and end of the experiment and single weights were taken at
2-week intervals during the progress of the experiment. All weights
were taken at approximately 10:00 a.m. with the steers having had access
to feed and water. The final weights were shrunk 3 percent in calculat-
ing total gains, average daily gains and dressing percent. Carcass
grade and marbling scores were determined by a Federal beef grader and
fat thickness over the ribeye and the ribeye area were measured at the
twelfth rib.

Mineral analyses of fossil shell flour were made by atomic absorption
spectrophotometry (Perkin-Elmer, 1964) with phosphorus determined accord-
ing to the method of A.O.A.C. (1960). Carbonate fusion of fossil flour
to increase the solubility of the minerals was made according to the
method of Hillebrand, et al. (1953). The density of fossil shell flour
and sand was determined by measuring the amount of water displaced by
a known weight of each substance. The data were analyzed statistically
by analysis of variance and Duncan's multiple-range test as described by
Steele and Torrie (1960).

Results and Discussion

Values representing average daily gain, feed consumption and feed
conversion are presented in table 2 according to main effects. There

Fossil shell flour
0.0% 1.5% 3.0%
Soybean Urea in Urea in Soybean Urea in Urea in Soybean Urea in Urea in
Ingredients meal meal pellet meal meal pellet neal meal oellet
Fossil shell flour 1.50 1.50 1.50 3.00 3.00 3.00
Soybean meal (50% protein) 11.07 11.35 11.63 -
Urea (281% "protein") 1.79 1.79 1.79 -
Pelleted citrus pulp + urea
in pellets 46.79 46.79 46.79
Pelleted citrus pulp 45.00 45.00 45.00 45.00 45.00 45.u -
Corn meal 27.46 36.74 36.74 25.68 35.24 35.24 23.90 33.74 33.74
Cottonseed hulls 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00
Alfalfa meal (17% protein) 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Monosodium phosphate 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 3.60 3.60 0.60
Sodium sulfate 0.27 .0.27 0.27 0.27 0.27 0.27 3.27 3.27 J.27
Salt (trace mineralized)-1 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 3.60 3.60 0.60
Aurofac-10-' + + + + + + + + +
Vitamins A & D- + + + + + + + ++

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Lisd ii l----
T.i 1 1 L >lt l r 1_jJ f *-- _-mlr A r_ f / ^ fl\ m < ^r^ *. ^ _-

m mum ana ysis in
percent: Zn, 1.00; F
NaC1, 95.0.

3. 0 ; Mn, 0.20; 3, 0. 10; Cu, 0.08; Co, 0.0 01 and

' Initially, 0.1 lb. of Aurofac-lO per 100 lbs. or 10 mgs. aureomycin per pound of concentrate. At 30 days
reduced to 3.0 mg. per pound of concentrate.
1000 I.U. vitamin A palmitate and 200 I.U. vitamin D2 added per pound of concentrate.

Concentrate mixtures
Fossil shell flour, % Nitrogen source
2/ 2/ 2/ Soybea,/ Urea Urea
Item 0 1.5- 3.02 meal- in meal/ in pellet-/

Initial weight, lbs. 713 694 707 695 712 707

Final weight, lbs. 967 956 964 965 954 969

Total gain, Ibs. 254 262 257 270 242 262

Daily gain, Ibs. 2.29 2.36 2.32 2.43 2.18 2.36

Daily feed consumption, lbs.

Concentrate 20.86 2u.90 21.04 21.04 23.73 21.04

Hay 1.70 1.72 1.70 1.72 1.70 1.72

Total 22.56 22.62 22.76 22.76 22.43 22.76

Feed/unit gain, lbs. 9.85 9.58 9.81 9.37 10.29 9.64

1/ See table 6 for similar data obtained from final weights adjusted with a uniform dressing percentage.
SAverage results from the 3 lots receiving the same level of fossil shell flour.
/ Average results from the 3 lots receiving the same source of supplemental nitrogen.

- 5-

were no significant differences in animal response due to treatment.
Steers consuming rations containing 0, 1.5, and 3.0% fossil flour had
an average daily gain of 2.29, 2.36 and 2.32 pounds per head daily,
respectively. Average daily feed consumption was similar for all fossil
flour treatments. The feed conversion of steers receiving 1.5% fossil
flour was 9.58 pounds of feed per pound of gain compared to 9.85 and
9.81 pounds of feed per pound of gain for steers consuming 0 and 3.0%
fossil flour, respectively. These differences, however, were not signi-

Supplying the total supplemental dietary nitrogen as urea mixed with
the citrus pulp and pelleted resulted in average daily gains, feed con-
sumption, and feed conversion more closely approximating the results
obtained with soybean meal than occurred when the urea was added to the
diets at time of mixing. Although these differences were not significant
between treatments, the slightly improved performance by steers receiving
urea incorporated into the citrus pulp pellet compared to that by steers
receiving urea in the loose fraction of the ration suggests a possible
benefit from supplying the urea in this way. Feeding the urea pelleted
with citrus pulp may have reduced the release rate of ammonia from the
urea within the rumen as well as reduced the unpalatable nature of urea
in the diet. The response may be similar to that reported by Bartley
et al. (1968) when a starch-urea extrusion product known as "Starea"
was fed. Starea was reported to be superior to urea as a protein supple-
ment for cattle fed fattening rations and approximately equal to soybean
meal as a protein supplement in beef cattle wintering rations. A pelleted
protein supplement (Dehy-100) which contains 31.6% urea as well as
dehydrated alfalfa and added minerals, has been reported by Conrad and
Hibbs (1966) to be equal to soybean meal as the protein supplement for
high producing dairy cows. Thompson et al. (1967), in a study with
finishing beef steers, reported increased average daily gain and feed
efficiency when rations containing 1.5% urea were fed in a pelleted
form as compared to feeding as a meal.

Fossil shell flour, which is believed to be largely inert or non-
nutritive in nature, contains approximately 35 to 40% silicon (table 3)
with much smaller amounts of numerous other elements. The levels of
calcium, magnesium and potassium detected in the sample of diatomaceous
earth used in the present experiment were higher than those reported by
previous workers. The daily intake of this substance was subtracted
from the average daily intake of concentrate and the resulting average
daily feed intakes and feed conversions are shown in table 4. Removing
the fossil shell flour from the total feed intake reduced the feed
required per unit gain but the resulting differences between treatments
were not significant.

The feeding of long hay was ceased during the fifth week of the
feeding trial. During this period there appeared to be a reduced con-
centrate intake by most treatment groups and the feeding of long hay at
the rate of 1 pound per head daily was resumed. The feeding of long hay

- 6-




Element A-;
Silicon 37.4
Sodium 4.0

Aluminum 3.0
Carbon 2.2
Iron 1.5
Titanium 1.5
Magnesium 0.8
Calcium 0.6
Copper Trace
Manganese Trace
Strontium Trace
Vanadium Trace





of analysis




1/ Information provided by Perma-Guard Corp., Phoenix, Arizona.
2/ Information from Hoots (1931).

/ Information from Leppla (1953).
Diatomaceous earth used in the present study.

Table 3.







Fossil shell flour, % Nitrogen source
Soybean Urea Urea
Item 0 1.5 3.0 meal in meal in pellet

Daily gain, Ibs. 2.29 2.36 2.32 2.43 2.16 2.36

Daily feed consumption, Ibs.

Concentrate 20.86 20.57 20.42 20.73 20.42 20.73

Hay 1.70 1.72 1.70 1.72 1.70 1.72

Total 22.56 22.12 22.12 22.45 22.12 22.45

Feed/unit gain, lbs. 9.85 9.44 9.53 9.24 10.24 9.51

SThe concentrate intake was reduced by
fossil shell flour.

1.5 and 3.0% for the treatments receiving these levels of

was stopped again during the thirteenth and fourteenth week of the trial
(figure 1). Throughout this period, the daily feed consumption and
average daily gain tended to decrease and there was a very marked decrease
in feed efficiency for all lots combined. A return to feeding 1 pound of
long hay per steer daily during the remainder of the 111-day feeding
period resulted in improved feed consumption, increased average daily
gain and improved feed efficiency in contrast to the period in which no
hay was fed. The consumption of concentrate increased from 20.25 to
21.35 pounds and average daily gain increased from 0.74 to 2.72 pounds
when hay was fed. The great differences in apparent body weight gain
due to the presence or absence of hay in the ration were undoubtedly due
to changes in ruminal fill and would not be expected to exist at these
levels for extended periods of time. Hillis (1968), in a study with
finishing steers consuming rations containing 45% pelleted citrus pulp,
reported decreased average daily consumption of concentrate when the
feeding of 1 pound of long hay per steer daily was discontinued for a
period of 4 weeks. A return to 1 pound of hay per day resulted in an
increased consumption of concentrate for the remainder of the trial.
Loggins et al. (1968) found with fattening lambs that the feeding of
10% chopped hay with an otherwise all-pelleted concentrate diet resulted
in increased gains (P < 0.01) as well as increased daily feed intake and
feed efficiency.

Carcass characteristics are presented according to main effects
in table 5. Carcass characteristics other than dressing percent were
not significantly different according to experimental treatment.
Dressing percent of 60.15, 59.25 and 58.65 for steers fed 0, 1.5, and
3.0% levels of fossil flour, respectively, were analyzed statistically
for linear effects and showed a highly significant (P < 0.005) decrease
in dressing percent with increasing levels of fossil flour. Dressing
percent of 58.69, 59.46, and 59.90% for steers fed nitrogen sources of
soybean meal, urea in the pellet, and urea in the meal, respectively,
were statistically analyzed by Duncan's multiple-range test and each
value was found to differ significantly (P < 0.01) from the others.

There is no definite explanation for the slight but significant
reduction in dressing percentage when fossil flour was added to the
diet. Since gain and final weights were similar this reduction may have
been due to increased fill. Although ingesta from the reticulorumen was
not examined at time of slaughter, it is possible that some fossil flour
accumulated in this compartment as has occurred with certain other
materials. The observation that fossil flour, which was found to be
approximately one-half as dense as sand, would sink in rumen fluid at
a rate comparable to sand strengthened this possibility.

It has been found useful in experiments in which reticulorumen
fill varied between treatments, to adjust final live weights of all
animals with the same dressing percentage. For this procedure to be
acceptable the degree of finish between groups must not differ greatly.
The nine groups of steers in this trial were uniformly finished and

- 9 -

I Hay consumption
I | Concentrate consul


Daily gain
option Feed/unit gain

<- NO HAY--- 4-- HAY ---

15 16


The effect of feeding one pound of long Bermudagrass
hay per head daily on feed consumption, daily gain and
feed per unit gain when diets containing 45% pelleted
citrus pulp were fed.

Figure 1.


Fossil shell flour, % Nitrogen source
Soybean Urea Urea
Item 0 1.5 3.0 meal in meal in pellet

Number of steers 15 15 15 15 15 15

Dressing percent2- 60.15 59.25 58.65 58.69 59.90 59.46

Federal carcass grade3/ 15.93 15.47 15.60 15.33 15.73 15.93

Marbling- 13.27 11.67 12.47 11.73 12.67 13.00

Estimated % yieldl/ 49.91 49.99 50.18 49.94 49.76 50.39

Chilled carcass wt., lb. 581.5 566.9 565.1 565.7 570.8 576.9

Fat over ribeye, in. 0.47 0.48 0.42 0.46 0.48 0.43

Est. % kidney knob 3.6 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.4

Ribeye area, sq. in. 11.35 11.15 11.02 11.05 10.97 11.50

SAll data presented according to main effects of treatments.
SBased on full weight off experiment shrunk 3 percent and the 48 hr., chilled carcass weight.
Based on conformation, finish and quality. Low, average and high good grades represented by 13, 14
and 15, respectively.
Small minus, average small and small plus degrees of marbling represented by 10, 11 and 12, respect-
SEstimated percent boneless- closely -trimmed lean from round, rump, 'loin," rib and chuck.

- 11 -

graded in the narrow range of high good to low choice. The adjusted
values for final live weights, average daily gains and feed efficiencies
calculated by dividing the chilled carcass weights by a dressing per-
centage of 60.0% are shown in table 6. This adjustment resulted in
average daily gains and feed efficiencies which decreased with increasing
levels of fossil flour in the diets.

Gross observations were made on the ruminal epithelium at the time
of slaughter. The ruminal mucosa of more than 90% of all steers was
light brown to dark brown in color as has been reported previously for
cattle receiving diets high in citrus pulp (Ammerman et al., 1963, 1967).
Over 50% of the rumens had slight to extensive coating of the rumen
papillae with a gummy, brown to black covering which has been referred
to as parakeratosis. Also, 49% of the rumens had slight to moderate
clumping of the papillae with only 7% of the papillae severely clumped.
In this condition groups of papillae were bunched together and appeared
"clogged" with very fine feed particles. It has been reported that
extensive rumen parakeratosis occurred in finishing steers when as much
as 44 or 66% regular citrus pulp (Ammerman et al., 1963) and 44 or 66%
regular or pelleted citrus pulp (Ammerman et al., 1967) was fed in the
concentrate mixture. In the later study there was reported to be no
apparent difference between the forms of citrus pulp in causing the
condition. Hillis (1968) reported a greater incidence of parakeratosis
in finishing steers that consumed rations containing 45% pelleted citrus
pulp compared to steers that received rations containing 45% regular
citrus pulp.


The nutritional value of fossil shell flour (diatomaceous earth)
was tested in a 111-day finishing trial with 45 yearling steers involving
a 3 x 3 factorial arrangement of treatments. Levels of 0, 1.5 and 3.0%
of the material were incorporated into diets containing all supplemental
nitrogen in the form of either soybean meal, urea added to the meal
portion of the diet, or urea added to the pelleted citrus pulp portion
of the diet. Each diet contained 45% pelleted citrus pulp. All steers
received a full feed of .concentrates throughout the trial while the
feeding of one pound of long Bermudagrass hay per steer daily was dis-
continued for two separate periods during the trial.

Results of the experiment may be summarized as follows:

1. The addition of 1.5 and 3.0% fossil shell flour to diets
containing 45% pelleted citrus pulp had no significant effect
on average daily gains and feed efficiencies of finishing

2. Supplying the total supplemental nitrogen as urea incorporated
into the citrus pulp pellet resulted in animal performance m,?r;-
closely approximating that obtained with soybean meal than
occurred when urea was fed in the maal portion of the diet,


Concentrate mixtures
Fossil shell flour, % Nitrogen source
Soybean Urea Urea
Item 0 1.5 3.0 meal in meal in pellet

Final weight, Ibs. 969.1 944.9 941.8 942.3 951.9 961.6

Daily gain, Ibs 2.30 2.26 2.11 2.23 2.16 2.29

Chilled carcass weight, lbs. 581.5 566.9 565.1 565.7 570.8 576.9

Dressing percent 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0

Feed/unit gain, Ibs.2/ 9.81 9.79 10.48 10.07 10.24 9.80

SAll final weights were obtained by assuming a uniform dressing percentage of 60%.
/ Fossil shell flour omitted in calculating feed required per unit gain.

- 13 -

3. Discontinuing the feeding of one pound of long Bermudagrass
hay per steer daily for a period of 2 weeks near the end of
the trial resulted in decreased average daily gain, concen-
trate intake and feed efficiency for this period. Resuming
the feeding of long hay improved these criteria for the
remainder of the study.

4. Dressing percent for steers fed 0, 1.5 and 3.0% fossil flour
were 60.15, 59.25 and 58.65, respectively. These data repre-
sent a highly significant (P < 0.005) linear decrease in
dressing percent with increasing levels of fossil flour.

Literature Cited

I1 Ammerman, C. B., F. C. Neal, A. Z. Palmer, J. E. Moore and L. R.
Arrington. 1967. Comparative nutritional value of pelleted and
regular dried citrus pulp when fed at different levels to finish-
ing steers. Dept. Animal Sci. Mimeo. Rpt. AN 67-7, Univ. of Fla.,

2. Ammerman, C. B., P. A. van Walleghem, A. Z. Palmer, J. W. Carpenter,
J. F. Hentges and L. R. Arrington. 1963. Comparative feeding value
of dried citrus pulp and ground corn and cob meal for fattening
steers. Dept. Animal Sci. Mimeo. Rpt. AN 64-8, Univ. Fla., Gaines-

3. A.O.A.C. 1960. Official methods of analysis (9th Edition).
Association of Official Agricultural Chemist, Washington, D.C.

4. Bartley, E. E., C. W. Deyoe and H. B. Pfost. 1968. A New Urea
Product for Ruminants. Feedstuffs 40: (17): 9.

5. Conrad, H. R. and J. W. Hibbs. 1966. Extend Use of Urea in Dairy
Rations. Feedstuffs 38: (41): 60.

6. Hillebrand, W. F., E. F. Lundel, H. A. Bright, and J. I. Hoffman.
1953. Applied inorganic analysis. 2nd Edition. John Wiley and
Sons, Inc., New York.

7. Hillis, W. G. 1968. Nitrogen and phosphorus supplements for
ruminant rations high in dried citrus pulp. Master's Thesis,
University of Florida.

8. Hoots, H. W. 1931. Geology of the eastern part of the Santa
Monica Mountains, Los Angeles County, California. U. S. Geol.
Survey Prof. Paper 165-C.

9. Leppla, P. W. 1953. Diatomite. Calif. Div. Mines, Min. Inf.
Service 6: (11); 1.

14 -

10. Loggins, P. E., C. B. Ammerman, J. E. Moore and C. F. Simpson. 1968.
Effect of Feeding Long Hay or Sodium Bicarbonate with Ground or
Pelleted Diets High in Citrus Pulp on Lamb Performance. J. Animal
Sci. 27: 745.

11. Perkin-Elmer. 1964. Analytical methods of atomic absorption
spectrophotometry. The Perkin-Elmer Corporation, Norwalk,

12. Steele, R.G.D. and J. H. Torrie. 1960. Principles and Procedures
of Statistics. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, N. Y.

13. Thompson, J. T., N. W. Bradley and C. O. Little. 1967. Utilization
of Urea and Fat in Meal and Pelleted Rations for Steers. J. Animal
Sci. 26: 830.

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