Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Allen J. Young


Allen J. Young


Thomas D. Bunch


Kerry Rood


Dale Zobell


Earl Creech


Feed analysis is very important to modern society. In the United States feed analysis is used to optimize production of food animals. Feed analysis is also used as a tool to place value on crops. As important as feed analysis is to society, little research has been done that describes which feed laboratories are the most popular and why people use them. It has been thought by some patrons that different results from the same feed sample are obtained by different laboratories. Is this true? If so, what is the effect on those that use feed laboratories to produce animals, like beef cattle?

Four studies were the used to answer the questions described above and to learn more about the feed laboratory industry. Study 1 was used find out more about the population of feed laboratories in the United States. Study 2 conducted surveys to discover more about which laboratories are popular and why people use certain feed laboratories. Study 3 was used to find out if all feed laboratories produce results which agree, even when the same feed sample is tested by different laboratories and when the laboratories do not know that they are being compared to each other. Study 4 was used to show how, when different analyses of the same feed are produced, it impacts animal production.

In total, these studies provide evidence that there may be large variations between and within laboratories analyzing the same sample and these variations can have production and economic consequences.