Intake, digestibilities of the nutrients, and ruminal variables in cattle fed Mombaça-grass silage

Intake; total and partial digestibilities of nutrients; and ruminal pH and ammonia concentration were evaluated in beef cattle fed Mombaça-grass silage and concentrate at the following proportions: 80:20, 65:35, 50:50, and 35:65, in the dry matter basis. Four Holstein x Zebu steers, with average live weight of 229kg, fitted with ruminal and abomasal canullae, were used. The animals were allotted in a 4x4 latin square design. The intakes of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), and total carbohydrates (kg/day), as well the partials digestibilities of non fibrous carbohydrates (NFC) increased linearly with plateau at the concentrate levels of 54.1, 54.8, 52.9, 62.2, 55.2, and 52.7%. The intakes of others nutrients, except neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and the total apparent digestibilities of DM, OM, and NFC and the partial digestibility of OM increased linearly as the concentrate levels in the diets increased. No differences were found on the intake and the total and partial apparent digestibilities of NDF. The ruminal pH and ammonia concentration presented a quadratic affect in relation to the time of sampling, with maximum register at 2.8 and 3.5 hours after feeding, respectively, corresponding to pH 6.53 and 24.76mg/dL of ammonia.

dry matter; ruminal digestibility; neutral detergent fiber; chromic oxide

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