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J Anim Sci. 1991 Dec;69(12):4726-33.

Comparative feeding value of tapioca pellets for feedlot cattle.

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Anim. Sci. Dept., University of California, El Centro 92243.


A feedlot growth-performance trial and a metabolism trial were conducted to evaluate the comparative feeding value of tapioca pellets (TP). In the growth-performance trial treatments consisted of a steam-flaked corn (SFC)-based finishing diet in which a blend of 86% TP and 14% peanut meal replaced SFC at the rate of 0, 15, or 30% of diet DM. Daily weight gain (P less than .10) and DM intake (P less than .01) were greatest when 15% of the diet DM consisted of TP. Feed/gain increased linearly (P less than .01) with TP substitution into the diet. Treatment effects on carcass merit were small (P greater than .10), except that marbling score was greater with 15% TP than with either 0 or 30% TP. In the metabolism trial involving four Holstein steers, treatments consisted of an 88% concentrate diet containing 67% of either SFC or TP. Ruminal and total tract digestibility of starch was similar (P greater than .10) for SFC and TP, averaging 91 and 99%, respectively. Postruminal (P less than .05) and total tract (P less than .01) digestibility of N was lower for the TP than for the SFC diet. Total tract digestibility of N in TP was 3%. Little, if any, ADF in TP was fermented in the rumen. Total tract digestibility of ADF in TP was 16%. Total tract digestibility of DM (P less than .01) and OM (P less than .05) decreased 7 and 5%, respectively, with TP substitution for SFC. Virtually all the difference in OM digestibility could be attributed to differences in ADF excretion. The DE value of the diet decreased 11.5% (P less than .01) with the substitution of TP for SFC. It was concluded that TP can replace up to 30% of the DM in growing-finishing diets without adversely affecting ADG or DM intake of feedlot cattle. Tapioca pellets have approximately 86% the NE value of SFC.

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