Diet Roughage Ingredients for Newly Weaned Calves
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Several commodity feeds that are high in fiber are available that may substitute for corn cobs in a complete starting ration. This study was designed to evaluate the use of soyhulls and sunflower meal as substitutes for corncobs as a roughage source for newly weaned calves. One-hundred-and-fifty calves from the ISU Rhodes Research Farm were weaned, weighed, sorted by sex, and stratified by weight to eight pens. Two pens of each sex were assigned to one of two diet treatments. Calves fed the corncob diet consumed two pounds more feed dry matter, gained 1.5 pounds more per day, and were more efficient the first 14 days on feed. The soyhull diet was quite fine in particle size, and some feed particle separation occurred in the bunk. Some compensatory performance may have occurred with the soyhull diet the second 14 days on feed, although no statistical differences existed. This suggests that palatability, feed presentation, and bunk characteristics are important considerations in selecting roughage sources for complete starting diets for newly weaned calves.