Steam-rolled wheat diets for finishing cattle: effects of dietary roughage and feed intake on finishing steer performance and ruminal metabolism.

K. K. Kreikemeier, D. L. Harmon, R. T. Brandt, T. G. Nagaraja, R. C. Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to determine the influence of dietary roughage concentration and feed intake on finishing steer performance and ruminal metabolism. In Exp. 1, 126 steers (334 kg) were used in a completely randomized design and fed (120 d) diets of steam-rolled wheat without roughage or containing 5, 10 or 15% roughage (50% alfalfa hay:50% corn silage). Steers fed 5 or 10% roughage gained faster (quadratic, P less than .05) and were more efficient (quadratic, P less than .05) than steers fed 15% or no roughage. In Exp. 2, six ruminally cannulated steers (447 kg) were used in a 6 x 6 latin square design and fed (twice daily) diets of steam-rolled wheat without roughage or containing 5 or 15% alfalfa hay at twice or three times NE required for maintenance. Increasing dietary roughage increased (linear, P less than .01) ruminal liquid passage 38%, indigestible ADF passage 63%, Yb-labeled wheat passage 75% and fiber fill 31%. The rate of in situ starch digestion tended to increase (linear, P = .16), and ruminal VFA concentration was 40 mM higher (P less than .01) at 4 h after feeding with increased roughage. Increased feed intake increased (P less than .05) ruminal starch fill, fiber fill, liquid fill and liquid passage 23%, Yb-labeled wheat passage 50% and Dry-labeled hay passage 20%. It reduced protozoa five- to sixfold (P less than .01) but doubled total bacterial counts (P less than .01). Ruminal NH3N was lower (P less than .01) and total VFA concentration was 50 mM higher (P less than .01) at 4 h after feeding. The acetate:propionate ratio was reduced from 2.3 to 1.3 (P less than .01) with increased intake. Adding roughage to a steam-rolled wheat diet increased passage and tended to increase rate of starch digestion; increased feed intake with its associated effects on ruminal fill and passage dramatically shifted the microbial population and fermentation end products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2130-2141
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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