Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

J. Ike Sewell


A two-year study was conducted to evaluate the effects of temperature and pen floor types on the performance of beef cattle fed in a confined, slatted-floor facility in summer. Investigations were also made to develop waste management techniques for a liquid beef manure system and to determine Kjeldahl nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand for liquid beef waste. During the summer months of 1973, temperatures were recorded in one pen to determine the environmental conditions to which cattle were subjected. During 1974, a comparative study was made among two pens of cattle on concrete slab floors, two pens of cattle on unfanned (natural ventilation) slatted-floors, and two pens of cattle on fanned slatted floors. Temperatures in each of the three pen types were recorded by thermocouples, and cattle performance was evaluated by measuring average daily gains and feed conversion efficiency. The cattle were also scored by University of Tennessee Animal Science Department personnel to determine the effects of temperatures and floor types upon soundness in the animals' knees. Significant differences in temperatures were found between the three floor types (treatments). Fanning the cattle significantly increased average daily gains and efficiency in feed conversion. The Kjeldahl nitrogen content and chemical oxygen demand of liquid manure samples were comparable to other reported values. Agitation of pit contents by using compressed air was found acceptable. Swelling in knees of the cattle was affected by treatment, but this did not appear to hinder cattle performance. A distortion of one type of experimental aluminum slat was observed after more than one year's use. After testing new sections of slat, the distortion was found not to result from a single loading, but most probably to have been caused by repeated stresses.

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