Two trials were conducted to determine the effects of calcium soaps of long-chain fatty acids (calcium soap) on feedlot performance, diet digestibility, carcass characteristics and ruminal metabolism of steers fed diets (85% concentrate:15% corn silage) containing 0, 2, 4 or 6% calcium soap. In Trial 1, increasing calcium soap decreased (P less than .05) DM, CP and gross energy intake but increased total fatty acid intake. Feed to gain ratio tended to improve with increased calcium soap; gross energy conversion was not affected (P greater than .05) by diet. Average daily gain and hot carcass weight decreased (P less than .05) with addition of calcium soap; other carcass characteristics were not affected (P greater than .05). Apparent digestibilities of DM, N, energy and ash were not affected (P greater than .05) by calcium soap. Neutral detergent fiber digestibility increased linearly (P less than .08) with increasing calcium soap, whereas digestibility of total fatty acids was affected quadratically (P less than .05); fatty acid digestibility was similar among 0, 2 and 4% calcium soap diets but decreased for the 6% calcium soap diet. In Trial 2, increased calcium soap did not affect (P greater than .05) ruminal VFA concentrations, pH or in sacco NDF disappearance of orchardgrass following 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation. Calcium soap increased (P less than .07) ruminal concentrations of calcium soap fatty acids at 1, 2, 4 and 8 h postfeeding. Calcium soap did not improve performance of feedlot cattle fed high-concentrate diets. Further, calcium soap did not affect ruminal fermentation and did not dissociate significantly even when ruminal pH was below 6 for extended periods of time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology