Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science


Ruminants were once considered placid animals with the rumen serving as a storehouse for the feeds harvested when favorable weather and freedom from predatory animals permitted, and then retiring to a relatively safe place to ruminate and digest the stored feed. The large capacity and microbial digestion within the rumen enable ruminants to consume and utilize roughages efficiently. A large number of experiments have been conducted during the past several years to determine the effects of proportion of concentrates to roughages on rate and efficiency of production by cattle. Alfalfa hay is widely used in finishing rations for cattle and it is a good source of protein, carotene and calcium. However, the availability and cost may result in it being unfeasible or uneconomical in relation to other sources of roughages. Corn cobs are a source of roughage that may be used as they occur in ear corn or added as an additional ingredient. On the other hand, corn cobs are low in protein, carotene and minerals. The cost of properly supplementing the cobs with these nutrients may offset much of the advantage of this apparent economical source of roughage. In order to most benefit from feeding an ear corn ration, the feeder needs information on the relative feeding value of cobs in relation to other roughages in finishing rations. A series of three feeding trials were conducted with cattle to obtain more information on these problems. The rations were fed in ways so that the cob portion of ear corn served as a replacement for roughage in some rations and grain in others. The performance of the cattle was measured by rate of gain, feed consumption, feed efficiency and carcass characteristics.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University