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EFFECTS OF BUNK SCORING ON FEEDLOT STEER INTAKE

EFFECTS OF BUNK SCORING ON FEEDLOT STEER INTAKE,J. S. Schutz,J. J. Wagner,T. E. Engle

EFFECTS OF BUNK SCORING ON FEEDLOT STEER INTAKE  
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One hundred twenty seven crossbred yearling steers (497.42 kg ± 34.82) were utilized to determine the impact of bunk score on DMI of steers. The steers were randomly sorted into pens and placed into one of three groups. Groups were then randomly assigned to one of three bunk scores based on the amount of daily orts left over from the previous days feeding; a score of 0 was a bunk devoid of all feed particles, a score of ½ represented a bunk with trace to 2.26 kg of feed, and a score of 1 was 2.27 to 9.08 kg of feed remaining. A 3 X 3 Latin square design was utilized to determine the effects of bunk score on DMI. An adaptation period of 9 days was implemented for each period prior to the four days of data collection. During the data collection phase all bunks were observed at 0630, 1630, 2200, and 0200 the next morning. Each morning bunk scores were assigned and feed intake was determined by weighing the orts in each bunk. Dry matter intake was greatest (P < 0.0001) for steers which received a bunk score of 1 (2.27 to 9.08 kg of orts; DMI of 11.21 kg ± 0.16) each morning. By allowing steers ad libitum access to feed daily intake was increased which could result in increased performance and decreased days on feed. Additionally, when feed remains in the bunk throughout the night it can be assumed that all steers have access to the feed in a time frame that supports the steers' diurnal eating patterns.
Published in 2007.
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