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Effect of Including Flax in Beef Creep Feed on Performance and Subsequent Carcass Characteristics

Author(s): Travis. D. Maddock | Brian Kreft | Robert J. Maddock | Vernon L. Anderson | Gregory P. Lardy

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 156;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Beef steers | carcass composition | creep feed | flax | grazing

Ninety-six cow-calf pairs with steers (663?9 kg initial cow BW; 168?1 kg initial calf BW) were stratified by cow age and steer weight and allotted randomly to one of 12 pastures. Pastures were assigned randomly to four treatments: 1) no creep feed (CON); 2) 0% flax (55% wheat middlings, 39.5% soy hulls; CRP; DM basis); 3) low flax (12.5% flax, 26.0% wheat middlings, 56.0% soy hulls; LOW; DM basis); or 4) high flax (25.0% flax, 69.5% soy hulls; HIGH; DM basis). All supplemented calves were offered CRP ad libitum for 21 d to acclimate calves to feed. Diets were offered ad libitum for 37 d prior to weaning. Calves were then co-mingled and fed a growing diet for 98 d after which they were fed a finishing diet for 143 d. Following finishing, cattle were transported to an abattoir, harvested, carcasses chilled for 24 h and carcass data and loin samples were collected. Creep-fed calves had greater pre-weaning ADG (p=0.05) than CON calves. Growing period ADG was not affected (p=0.34) by creep feed; however, creep-fed calves tended (p=0.11) to have greater finishing ADG. Flax addition had no effect on growing or finishing ADG (p=0.36 and 0.71, respectively) compared to CRP-fed calves. Creep-fed calves had greater HCW (p=0.05) and lower marbling scores (p=0.08) than CON. Calves fed flax had lower marbling scores (p=0.06) than those fed CRP; however, calves fed HIGH had greater marbling scores (p=0.08) than those fed LOW. Including flax in nursing steer creep feed for the last 37 d prior to weaning did not affect nursing calf or post-weaning performance, but may decrease marbling scores.
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