Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Robert R. Rhykerd

Committee Member

Justin W. Rickard


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of Wet Brewer’s Grains (WBG) on the growth performance, carcass performance, and meat quality of finishing cattle. Twenty-four (n=24; 12 heifers – 303kg, 12 steers – 346kg) calves of Simmental-Angus genetics were utilized. Calves were paired by sex, blocked by BW within sex in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement with three replications per treatment, and fed for 140d. Control diets were a conventional corn silage – shelled corn finishing-diet. Experimental diets modeled the control diet with the inclusion of WBG on a thirty-percent DM basis. Cattle were visually appraised by an industry procurement agent for degree of finish. Finished cattle were transported 160km for slaughter under USDA-FSIS inspection. Primal ribs (IMPS #1103) were obtained and transported to ISU’s Meat Lab. Ribeye steaks (IMPS #1112) were fabricated from the ninth – eleventh ribs for further meat quality analyses. Statistical analysis was modeled in a two-way fixed ANOVA utilizing the MIXED procedure of SAS. No differences were observed in Total Gain and ADG between diets respectively (P = 0.6919). Average Daily Feed Disappearance (ADFD) increased in WBG calves (P < 0.0001). Decreases in G:F were observed in WBG calves (P = 0.0121). No differences were observed in HCW, YG, or QG respectively (P > 0.05). No differences were observed in Warner-Bratzler Shear Force, Package Purge, or Cook Loss measurements (P > 0.05). This data indicates WBG inclusion supports growth performance, carcass performance, and meat quality of finishing cattle similar to a conventional finishing diet.


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