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Experience in feeding wheat to beef cattle is not so extensive as feeding wheat to hogs. However, tests conducted in several States indicate that it is practicable to substitute wheat for some, if not all, of the corn in the feeding ration. The experiment stations in Montana and Oklahoma have conducted tests in the feeding of wheat to young steers and baby beeves.
In the Oklahoma test, the lot of baby beeves “receiving ground wheat, cottonseed meal, silage, and alfalfa hay showed the largest returns per calf as well as the lowest cost per hundred pounds of gain.”
In the Montana test, young steers were fed ground wheat and alfalfa hay. Wheat is an excellent feed for fattening beef calves, according to D. E. Richards, livestock extension specialist at Bozeman, Mont.
The average daily ration in the beef cattle experiments ranged from 8 pounds of wheat for baby beef in Oklahoma tests to about 11 pounds of wheat per day for young steers in one of the Montana tests.
One possible objection to the substitution of wheat for all the corn in the ration for calves and young steers is brought out by the Kansas station. A recent report says:
It (wheat) was less palatable but not less nutritious. As a matter of fact it evidently is slightly more nutritious because it required slightly less wheat to produce 100 pounds of gain than it did corn. It must be emphasized that wheat is not as palatable as corn for cattle, and cattle will not fatten as fast on wheat as they will on corn.
At the Missouri Experiment Station “yearling cattle have been fed 70 days on rations which contain wheat in the following amounts: * * * ground wheat, 10 parts, and cottonseed cake, 1 part * * * with alfalfa hay, produced 152 pounds gain, or 2.2 pounds per head daily * * *. This experiment indicates that where ground wheat is fed to cattle best results may be obtained by using coarsely ground or rolled wheat. * * * Cattle being fed on ground wheat alone tended to get on feed slower than when wheat was mixed with other feeds."
The results of tests in two States where wheat has been fed to beef cattle, are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Table 3 shows that it required from about 460 to 520 pounds of wheat, along with other feeds, to produce 100 pounds of beef. The daily rations indicated in Table 4 ranged from about 8 to 11 pounds of wheat per day, depending upon the type of cattle fed, and other feeds in the ration.
TABLE 3.--Beef cattle: Rations required to make 100 pounds of gain; as shown by
recent experiments in various States
NOTE.-As shown in Table 3, in Montana young steers received a ration consisting of ground wheat and alfalfa hay. In Oklahoma, where baby beeves were fed, corn silage and cottonseed meal were added to the ration,
TABLE 4.—Beef cattle: Average daily ration in feed lots; as shown by recent experi
ments in various States
NOTE.-As shown in Table 4, young steers consumed from 10 to 11 pounds of wheat per head per day and calves or baby beeves consumed from 8 to 834 pounds of wheat per day in addition to
FEEDING WHEAT TO LAMBS Feeding wheat to lambs has been tried in several States with fairly good success. In most cases wheat is fed with alfalfa hay, the daily ration running from 1 pound to 132 pounds of wheat per day. As shown in Table 5, it has required from 321 to 434 pounds of wheat along with other feeds to make 100 pounds of gain."
A lamb-feeding experiment conducted by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station and the Monroe Lamb Feeders Association of Monroe, Utah, from November 21, 1929, to February 19, 1930, showed that wheat compared rather favorably with barley as a feed for lambs. However, one of the lots which was fed barley made slightly more economical gains than the other lots in the experiment. Other lots in which barley was fed made less economical gains than the lambs which were fattened on wheat.
In discussing the results of lamb-feeding experiments at the University of Nebraska, Prof. A. D. Weber, says:
It appears, therefore, that, pound for pound, whole wheat is hardly equal to corn. A considerable amount of the whole wheat passed through the lambs undigested, which probably accounts for this difference. While whole wheat was practically as palatable as shelled corn, ground wheat was distinctly less palatable than either of them. * * * It was particularly difficult to get them to consume more than 1 pound per head daily.
In the Nebraska tests wheat has not given as satisfactory results as a feed for lambs as it has as a feed for pigs, but wheat can be substituted for part of the corn in the ration, provided due care is taken in its use.
Where wheat has been fed to lambs along with cottonseed cake and beet pulp, it has proved a better feed than barley for fattening lambs, as shown by recent tests in Montana.
From these tests it is clearly shown that, although wheat alone may not be a thoroughly satisfactory grain ration for fattening lambs, it can be used to supplement other feeds.
Tables 5 and 6 give a summary of certain experiment-station tests in feeding wheat to lambs. In one State the lambs were fed on alfalfa and wheat, supplemented by beet pulp and cottonseed cake. In the other tests, lambs were fed on wheat and alfalfa hay. It required from 321 to 434 pounds of wheat to make 100 pounds of gain and the wheat ration ranged from about 1 pound to 14 pounds per day.
TABLE 5.—Lambs: Rations required to make one hundred pounds of gain; as
shown by recent experiments in various States
NOTE.In one test, as shown in Table 5. cottonseed cake and wet-beet pulp were added to the ration whereas in the others wheat was fed with alfalfa hay alone. The amount of wheat required to make 100 pounds of gain varied from 321 to 434 pounds in these tests.
TABLE 6.--Lambs: Average daily ration in feed lots as shown by recent experiments
in various States
* Recommended formula. • Clover hay.
NOTE.- Table 6 shows the average daily ration for lambs which ranged from 1 to 112 pounds of wheat in addition to other feeds.
FEEDING WHEAT TO DAIRY Cows Many States have recommended dairy rations which include large proportions of wheat. The figures in Table 7 show the amount of different kinds of feed necessary to make 1 ton of grain ration. A great variety of feeds is recommended in the different States and the best advice to a dairyman is that he should consult his local county extension agent with reference to the particular formula best suited to his conditions.
“At the present prices for wheat, barley and oats in New York, these grains should be largely substituted for corn and hominy feeds in dairy rations,” says Dr. F. B. Morrison, of Cornell University. “In these formulas wheat or barley may be used, depending on local prices. For dairy cows these grains have substantially the same value, ton for ton. Since wheat is a heavy concentrated feed, it is not best to use more than 600 pounds of ground wheat per ton of dairy feed.”
Doctor Morrison also cautions growers that on account of its heavy nature the best results will probably be secured when wheat does not form over one-third to one-half of the grain mixture.
“Regarding the possibility of feeding wheat, we do not hesitate to recommend the use of wheat as a substitute for corn when the price of wheat and the grade of wheat falls in a class with corn and the price or availability of wheat favors its use,” according to G. C. Humphrey, animal husbandry specialist of the agricultural experiment station at Madison, Wis.
From North Dakota the Federal Farm Board gets a slightly different story. This State produces considerable barley. The price of barley is now rather low. F. W. Christensen, professor of animal nutrition of the agricultural experiment station at Fargo, says: “We wish to state that at present prices in this locality, barley is a cheaper feed than wheat.”
The Farmers Union Terminal Association at St. Paul, Minn. reports shipments of wheat into Wisconsin for the use of dairy farmers.
The expert opinion on feeding wheat to dairy cows is that most States will not recommend feeding wheat to the exclusion of other grains. It can be substituted for corn and barley up to one-third to one-half of the grain ration. The exact proportion of these different grains depends upon the price and the ease with which the dairymen can secure them.
wheata Harley n pof the
TABLE 7.-- Dairy cous: Ingredients for 1 ton (2,000 pounds) of grain ration; formulas recommended by experiment stations in various States
Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds
350 350 100
Clover and timothy hay and
Clover hay and corn silage...
Alfalfa hay and corn silage. -
Alfalfa, silage, and roots..
othy or silage.
440 444 -------
NOTE.-Table 7 shows the formulas for 1 ton of grain ration for dairy cows. For instance, in North Dakota, a recommended formula, with low-protein roughage, would consist of 500 pounds of wheat, 600 pounds of oats, 500 pounds of barley, and 400 pounds of protein supplement. Before using any of these rations with which they are not familiar dairymen are urged to consult their local county extension agents or State agricultural experiment stations,