Effects of feeding systems on rumen environment, degradability and passage kinetics in Ankole × Friesian crossbred steers

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    D. Asizua, Department of Agricultural Production, Markere University, Kampala, Uganda, UgandaD. Mpairwe, Department of Agricultural Production, Markere University, Kampala, Uganda, UgandaFred Kabi, Makerere University, UgandaDavid Mutetikka, Felix Budara Bareeba,
  • Torben Hvelplund
  • Martin Riis Weisbjerg
  • Jørgen Madsen, Copenhagen University, Department of Large Animal Science, Danmark
Natural pastures constitute a large proportion of the feed resource base for meat and milk production in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is increasing use of agro-industrial by-products, especially those that are cereal-based as supplementary feedstuff to grazing animals and in diets under semi-intensive and intensive production systems. This study evaluated the influence of feeding systems on rumen environment, degradability and passage kinetics. Six Ankole x Friesian F1 crossbred steers weighing 339 ± 29 kg (about two years of age), each fitted with permanent rumen cannula were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design (ns = 2). Two steers were allocated per period to one of three feeding systems i.e. (1) sole grazing (control), (2) control plus concentrate supplement (composition g/kg DM: 375 maize bran, 559 brewer's spent grain, 62.5 molasses and 3.75 NaCl), and (3) feedlot systems where steers were fed total mixed ration (TMR) comprising g/kg DM: 200 maize stover, 300 maize bran, 447 brewers’ spent grain, 50 molasses and 3 NaCl. Data was collected on rumen pH, ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), volatile fatty acids (VFA) and degradability of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF). Rumen pH was lowest (P < 0.001) at feedlot (5.3) but highest (P < 0.001) under sole grazing (6.2). Rumen NH3-N ranged between 62.8 and 120 mg/l and was higher (P < 0.001) in sole grazing than in grazing but supplemented steers and those at the feedlot. Total VFA concentration for sole grazing steers (124 mmol/Mol) was higher (P < 0.05) than values observed under feedlot (102 mmol/Mol) while grazing but supplemented steers showed an intermediate value (108 mmol/Mol), not differing significantly from the two other systems. Molar proportion of acetate was higher (P < 0.001) in grazing steers compared to values for either grazing but supplemented or those under feedlot while the reverse was true for propionate. The degradation characteristics of DM, CP and NDF were generally higher in sole grazing steers. Although, in most cases, the influence of feeding system on degradability was dependent on the type of feedstuff, feeding systems did not influence total mean retention time. The high extent of DM, CP and fiber degradation in grazing steers compared to supplemented and feedlot steers demonstrates that forage diversity under grazing positively influences degradability. However, attention to the nature and fermentation characteristics of proteins and carbohydrate sources and how they modify rumen environment in different production systems is needed to improve utilization of supplements and TMR.
TidsskriftLivestock Science
Sider (fra-til)47-54
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2018

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