The current study evaluated diet digestibility and finishing phase growth performance in steers previously evaluated for feed efficiency during the growing phase. Based on growing phase feed efficiency, steers were classified as highly or lowly feed efficient. During the finishing phase, the highly feed efficient steers remained more feed efficient. Steers were fed either corn or roughage-based diets during the growing phase and then transitioned to either corn or byproduct-based diets during the finishing phase. Dry matter digestibility was strongly positively correlated in steers grown/finished on corn or grown/finished on high fiber diets (roughage, byproduct). Conversely, there was a strong negative correlation in G:F between feeding phases when steers were roughage-grown and corn-finished. Overall, the study reinforced the idea that diet digestibility differences may contribute to feed efficiency variability and that cattle should be feed efficiency tested on diets similar to the production environment of interest.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephanie_hansen/35/