Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of fibre digestibility and level of roughage on performance and rumen fermentation of finishing beef cattle

Abstract

The objective was to evaluate effects of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) digestibility and level of fresh sugarcane on intake, body fatness, carcass characteristics, and rumen kinetics and fermentation of beef cattle. Forty-eight Nellore young bulls were used in a complete randomized block design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Eight rumen-cannulated Nellore steers were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Two sugarcane genotypes divergent for stalk NDF digestibility (NDFD) were used. Experimental diets were formulated with 20 or 40% of sugarcane on a dry matter (DM) basis. High-NDFD genotype associated with the lower level of roughage in the diet promoted greater DM intake, resulting in greater body gain. Sugarcane with high-NDFD increased final body weight, hot carcass weight, and back-fat thickness. Animals receiving the genotype with high NDFD had greater rump-fat thickness only with 40% sugarcane in the diet. Animals receiving the low-NDFD genotype at 20% of the diet had lower NDF passage rate. Rumen pH was greater for diets with greater NDF content. There was greater proportion of butyrate in the rumen of animals receiving diets with greater NDF content. In conclusion, high-NDFD sugarcane increased final body and carcass weight, HCW, and fat thickness. When associated with lower inclusion of roughage in the diet, it can also increase DM intake and body weight gain of beef cattle.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Allen, M.S., 2014. Drives and limits to feed intake in ruminants, Animal Production Science, 54, 1513–1524

  2. AOAC, 2000. Official Methods of Analysis, (Arlington, VA)

  3. Broderick, G. et al., 2008. Effect on production of replacing dietary starch with sucrose in lactating dairy cows, Journal of Dairy Science, 91, 4801–4810

  4. Carvalho, M. et al., 2010. Chemical composition and digestibility of sugarcane harvested at two periods of the year, Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science, 47, 298–306

  5. Gao, X., and Oba, M., 2016. Effect of increasing dietary nonfiber carbohydrate with starch, sucrose, or lactose on rumen fermentation and productivity of lactating dairy cows, Journal of Dairy Science, 99, 291–300

  6. Harper, K.J., and McNeill, D.M., 2015. The Role iNDF in the Regulation of Feed Intake and the Importance of Its Assessment in Subtropical Ruminant Systems (the Role of iNDF in the Regulation of Forage Intake), Agriculture-Basel, 5, 778–790

  7. Heinrichs, J., and Kononoff, P., 2002. Evaluating particle size of forages and TMRs using the new Penn State Forage Particle Separator, Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, Cooperative Extension DAS, 02–42

  8. Holden, L., 1999. Comparison of methods of in vitro dry matter digestibility for ten feeds, Journal of Dairy Science, 82, 1791–1794

  9. Hristov, A. et al., 2005. Effect of carbohydrate source on ammonia utilization in lactating dairy cows, Journal of Animal Science, 83, 408–421

  10. Huhtanen, P. et al., 2015. Evaluation of between-cow variation in milk urea and rumen ammonia nitrogen concentrations and the association with nitrogen utilization and diet digestibility in lactating cows, Journal of Dairy Science, 98, 3182–3196

  11. Huhtanen, P., Detmann, E., and Krizsan, S., 2016. Prediction of rumen fiber pool in cattle from dietary, fecal, and animal variables, Journal of Dairy Science, 99, 5345–5357

  12. Mertens, D.R., 1994. Regulation of forage intake. In: M.C. G.C. Fahey Jr, D.R. Mertens, L.E. Moser (ed), Forage quality, evaluation, and utilization, 1994, (American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin, USA), 450–493

  13. NRC, 1996. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC)

  14. NRC, 2016. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC)

  15. Oba, M., 2011. Review: Effects of feeding sugars on productivity of lactating dairy cows, Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 91, 37–46

  16. Owens, F.N., and Basalan, M., 2016. Ruminal Fermentation. In: D.D. Millen, M. De Beni Arrigoni and R.D. Lauritano Pacheco (eds), Rumenology, (Springer International Publishing, Cham), 63–102

  17. Peripolli, E. et al. 2017, Effect of growth path on the performance and carcass traits of Hereford steers finished either on pasture or in feedlot, Animal Production Science

  18. Rinne, M., Huhtanen, P., and Jaakkola, S., 2002. Digestive processes of dairy cows fed silages harvested at four stages of grass maturity, Journal of Animal Science, 80, 1986–1998

  19. Robinson, P., Tamminga, S., and Van Vuuren, A., 1987. Influence of declining level of feed intake and varying the proportion of starch in the concentrate on rumen ingesta quantity, composition and kinetics of ingesta turnover in dairy cows, Livestock Production Science, 17, 37–62

  20. Rossi, C.A.S., and Compiani, R., 2016. Ruminal acidosis of beef cattle and related diseases, Large Animal Review, 22, 273–279

  21. Sousa, D.O. et al., 2014. Effect of fiber digestibility and conservation method on feed intake and the ruminal ecosystem of growing steers, Journal of Animal Science, 92, 5622–5634

  22. Van Soest, P.J., and Robertson, J., 1985. Analysis of forages and fibrous foods, A Laboratory Manual for Animal Science 613, (Cornell University, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York)

  23. Van Soest, P.J., Robertson, J., and Lewis, B., 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition, Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583–3597

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP-Grant 2009/00976-2) for financial support.

Author information

Correspondence to Luis Felipe Prada Silva.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sousa, D.O., Mesquita, B.d., Pires, A.V. et al. Effects of fibre digestibility and level of roughage on performance and rumen fermentation of finishing beef cattle. Trop Anim Health Prod 49, 1503–1510 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1353-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Intake
  • NDF digestibility
  • Passage rate
  • Rumen bacteria
  • Sugarcane