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Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 59  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 220 - 229

The effect of concentrate level and concentrate composition on the performance of growing dairy heifers reared and finished for beef production

A. Huuskonen, P. Lamminen and E. Joki-Tokola    

Abstract: The objectives of the study with growing dairy heifers were to determine the effects on animal performance of (1) concentrate level and (2) the concentrate composition in the grass silage-based diet. Animals (30 heifers) were randomly assigned to three feeding treatments: (1) low level (1.75 kg dry matter (DM)/d) of rolled barley (LB); (2) low level (1.75 kg DM/d) of commercial pelleted concentrate (LC); and (3) medium level (3.5 kg DM/d) of commercial pelleted concentrate (MC). All animals were also offered grass silage and hay. The commercial concentrate contained more crude protein than barley grain (135 g/kg DM vs. 205 g/kg DM). The data were analysed using analysis of variance and differences between the treatments were tested by orthogonal contrasts: LC vs. MC and LB vs. LC. The growth of the heifers increased and carcass conformation improved with increasing concentrate level. Commercial concentrate did not improve animal performance compared with barley grain.

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