Influence of decoquinate on ruminal fermentation, diet digestibility and cattle performance.

D. L. Harmon, T. G. Nagaraja, R. T. Brandt, R. W. Lee, T. B. Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Three experiments utilizing three Holstein steers (235 and 299 kg avg body weight for Exp. 1 and 2, respectively) were conducted to evaluate the effects of decoquinate, a synthetic coccidiostat, on ruminal fermentation, diet digestibility and performance of steers fed a finishing diet containing monensin and tylosin. Experiment 1 utilized a 70% forage diet, whereas Exp. 2 utilized a 20% forage diet. Each experiment was a 3 X 3 Latin-square design with treatments being 0, .5 and 5 mg decoquinate/kg body weight. Ruminal fermentation characteristics, water kinetics and blood constituents were measured on d 11 of each period, and zero-time volatile fatty acid (VFA) production was measured at 3 and 6 h post-feeding on d 12 to 14. No changes were seen in plasma glucose or L-lactate, ruminal pH, NH3-N or ruminal L-lactate for either experiment. Dry matter digestibility was depressed (P less than .05) at the .5- and 5-mg levels of decoquinate in Exp. 1, but dry matter digestibility was not affected in Exp. 2. No changes were seen in ruminal volume, outflow or total VFA concentration for either experiment. Molar proportions of VFA were not affected in Exp. 1, but the proportions of isobutyrate and butyrate decreased (P less than .05) at the 5-mg level of decoquinate in Exp. 2. Volatile fatty acid production was not changed in Exp. 1, but butyrate production was decreased (P less than .05) at the 5-mg level in Exp. 2. Experiment 3 involved 135 crossbred steers (259 kg avg initial wt), which were stratified by weight into 12 pens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1234
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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