Performance of American bison (Bison bison) in Feedlots

J. S. Church, R. J. Hudson and B. D. Rutley

Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences8, 1999, 513- 523


The performance of bison finished on grain and forage was evaluated in summer and winter. In the first experiment, 58 bison bulls were finished for slaughter (90 day period beginning in late October 1993 and 1994). Half of the bulls fed with a feed-weigh station were compared to bulls fed with industry standard self-feeders. No significant differences (P>0.05) were found in average daily gain between the two feed delivery methods. The feed-weigh station then was used to assess seasonal effects on average daily gain of 156 bison bulls. After correcting for initial body weight, average daily gain was higher in summer (1.1 kg/d-l ± 0.004) than in winter (0.7 kg d-l ± 0.005). This was associated with higher average daily feed consumption in summer (14.3 kg d-l ± 1.15) than in winter (10.6 kg d-l ± 1.15). Although not as striking as in northern cervids, seasonal energetic cycles of bison are a significant consideration in commercial management.

A complete copy of this article is available from:

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 2P5  Canada

Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 2H1  Canada

Center for Agricultural Diversification
Northern Lights College
11401 - 8th Street
Dawson Creek, BC  V1G 4G2  Canada

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