Rolled oats can replace rolled barley in beef diets without hitting performance – research

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Rolled oats can replace rolled barley in beef diets without hitting performance – research


Fine margins: All the indications are that the winter feeding season will again pose difficulties for producers.
Fine margins: All the indications are that the winter feeding season will again pose difficulties for producers.
Winter housing and feeding are not far away.

Research has found that rolled oats can replace rolled barley in a concentrate supplement without effecting the performance of beef cattle

The research was carried out by Mark McGee and Aidan Moloney in Teagasc, Grange who compared the effects of replacing rolled barley with rolled oats in a
supplement on intake, growth, carcass and selected meat quality
traits of late-maturing breed steers (initial live weight, 443kg),
over a 134-day finishing period.

Animals were housed
in pens in a slatted floor shed and offered grass silage (dry
matter digestibility, 713g/kg) ad libitum plus 4.0kg dry matter (in
two feeds) daily, of one of two concentrate supplements:

  • One
    barley-based ‘control’ (862g rolled barley, 60g soya bean meal, 50g
    molasses, and 28g minerals and vitamins/kg fresh weight)
  • The other oat based (853g rolled oats, 70g soya bean meal, 50g
    molasses, and 27g minerals and vitamins/kg fresh weight)

Concentrates were prepared as coarse mixtures.

Replacement of
barley with oats in the concentrate supplement had no effect on
silage dry matter intake, average daily live weight gain, feed
conversion ratio, slaughter and carcass weight, kill-out
proportion, ultrasonic measures of body muscle and fat gain, and
carcass conformation and carcass fat score.

Muscle colour, pH and
drip loss, and subcutaneous fat colour did not differ between the
two concentrates.

In conclusion, the researchers said that under the conditions of the
experiment, rolled oats can replace rolled barley in a concentrate
supplement to high-digestibility grass silage, without negatively
affecting performance or selected meat quality traits of beef
cattle.

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