Evaluation Of High Moisture And Dry Feed Both With And Without Hay Fed To Feeder Calves Subjected To Transportation Shrink
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Two backgrounding trials were carried out to evaluate the effects of diet on shrink both with and without hay offering 48-h prior to shipment, as well as subsequent weight recovery post-shipment. In trial 1, forty-eight British x Continental steers (initial BW 351 kg) were assigned randomly to one of two diets and fed for a 45-d period (four steers/pen; three pens/diet). Diets, on a dry matter basis, were as follows: 1) 82% corn silage and 18% pelleted corn gluten feed (HM), 2) 20% pelleted corn gluten feed, 40% pelleted peanut hulls, and 40% soybean hull pellets (DF). On day 45 half of the steers from each pen were shipped, while their pen mates remained in their respective pen of origin (24 shipped; 24 unshipped). Steers remained on the trailers for twenty-one hours to simulate transport from the southeastern stocker operation to a great plains feedlot. Shipped calves were returned to their pen of origin, weighed immediately upon arrival, 30-h post-shipment, then at 24-h increments throughout day 6 to monitor diet effects on weight recovery. Trial 2 was identical to the previous trial, in terms of experimental design, with the exception of the number of calves used and the length of the backgrounding period. One hundred eighteen calves were used (54 heifers; 64 steers; initial BW 297 kg; 320kg, respectively). Diets were fed for 49 d as opposed to 45 d the previous year. A total of 59 calves shipped, while the other 59 remained in their pen of origin. Shipped calves were returned to their pen of origin, weighed immediately upon arrival, 30-h post-shipment, then twice daily the following 7 d, on day 11 and day 15 recording an average weight for those days. For trial 1, shipped calves shrank 7.1%, and body weights remained different throughout the recovey period (P < 0.01). In experiment 2, shipped calves shrank 8.4% and body weights remained different (P < 0.01) for shipped calves vs unshipped calves throughout the recovery weigh period. HM, DF, or hay offering had no effect on shrink in either year, yet hay offering prior to shipment did effect post transit weight recovery in trial 2 (P < 0.05). In summary, feeding HM or DF had no effect on shrink or subsequent BW gain after transportation. Offering hay 48 h prior to shipment had no effect on shrink but did alter BW gain following 21 h of transportation.