Shredlage maize or standard whole-plant maize in the fattening-bulls ration?

A fattening trial combining two groups of 15 bulls each was carried out at the Agroscope Posieux site in order to study the influence of the shredlage harvest method compared to the conventional method for ensiling whole-plant maize. The animals were crossbreds between a dam from a dairy breed and a sire from a beef breed. They were kept in freestall housing during the experimental period, which began at an average live weight (LW) of 170 kg and lasted until a final LW of 530 kg. Except for the type of maize – 10 mm chopped standard (MST) or 30 mm chopped shredlage (SHR) – both rations had the same composition with 72 % maize silage (based on dry matter), as well as the same protein and energy supplements. The SHR maize had the effect of reducing the time spent on ingestion, resulting in a lower level of consumption at the beginning and the end of the fattening period. In addition, growth rate tended to be lower. Significantly positive effects were observed with SHR-type maize in terms of yield at slaughter, and hence carcass weight. These results require confirmation, however. In the final analysis, neither of the two variants stands out in the economic evaluation.

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