Farm Ireland

Thursday 13 December 2018

Can citrus pulp replace rolled barley when finishing cattle on grass silage

Tom Mulcahy unloads his cattle for Nenagh Mart. Photo; Gerry Mooney
Tom Mulcahy unloads his cattle for Nenagh Mart. Photo; Gerry Mooney
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Researchers in Teagasc, Grange recently released results of there study comparing citrus pulp to rolled barley when finishing cattle on grass silage.

The effects of replacing rolled barley with citrus pulp in a supplement on intake, growth and carcass traits of late-maturing suckler-bred steers (initial liveweight, 446kg) over a 135-day finishing period were examined.

Animals were housed in pens in a slatted floor shed and offered grass silage (DMD 71pc) ad libitum, plus 4.0kg dry matter (in two feeds) daily, and one of three concentrate supplements.

The ‘control’ concentrate, based on rolled barley, comprised 86.5pc rolled barley, 6pc soya bean meal, 5pc molasses, and 2.5pc minerals and vitamins (BAR).

In the other two concentrates, barley was replaced with 40pc citrus pulp plus 1pc soya bean meal (CIT40), or 80pc citrus pulp plus 2pc soya bean meal (CIT80).

Concentrates were prepared as coarse mixtures and formulated to have similar concentrations of protein (PDIE) per kg dry matter. The results showed that supplement type did not affect grass silage intake.

Daily liveweight gain and feed conversion ratio did not differ between BAR and CIT40, but animals offered CIT80 had a lower liveweight gain and poorer feed efficiency.

Carcass weight, kill-out proportion, carcass conformation and fat score did not differ significantly between treatments.

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In conclusion, under the conditions of this study, the researchers found citrus pulp can replace rolled barley at inclusion rates up to 40pc when offered as a supplement to grass silage without negatively affecting performance

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