Objective: To examine the effects of a dietary humic and fulvic acid complex, FeedMAX 15, on the health, growth rate, feed conversion ratio, and carcase characteristics of feedlot cattle.
Design: Cattle, in eight pens of 125 animals each, were fed either a diet containing a humic and fulvic acid complex (FeedMAX 15, FeedMAX Industries, Toowoomba, Queensland) or the same diet without the additive. Control or FeedMAX 15 diets were allocated to each pen at random. Individual cattle were allocated alternately to control or treatment pens based on order of presentation. Comparisons of disease incidence, mortality, feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion ratio, fat depth, dressing percentage, meat colour, fat colour and marbling were made at the conclusion of the feeding period.
Results: No differences were found between cattle fed FeedMAX 15 and cattle not fed the additive in entry body weight (P = 0.99), exit body weight (P = 0.91), dressing percentage (P = 0.66), P8 fat depth (P = 0.57), meat colour (P = 0.67), marbling (P = 0.70), all diseases (P = 0.64), bovine respiratory disease (P = 0.91), or mortalities (P = 1.0). Cattle fed FeedMAX 15 reached the market specifications for body weight and fat depth in fewer mean days (P = 0.0001), had a greater average daily gain (P = 0.05), a lower feed conversion ratio (P = 0.05) and whiter fat (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Feeding the humic and fulvic acid complex, FeedMAX 15, at 0.055 g per kg body weight per day, can increase growth rate and feed conversion efficiency in feedlot cattle.