An experiment was conducted to evaluate the feed intake, total and ruminal dietary component digestibility, ruminal digestion (kd) and passage rates (kp) of cattle fed sugarcane with different levels of concentrate. Five crossbred (Holstein x Zebu) with ruminal cannulas and initial body weight of 300±50kg were used in this experiment. Steers were assigned into a 5x5 Latin Square design balanced for residual effects. The experimental periods were divided into 16 d with 8 d for adaptation and 8 d for sample collection. Four treatments were used: 1) 100% fresh sugarcane (SC); 2) 80% SC + 20% concentrate (C); 3) 60% SC + 40% C; 4) 40% SC + 60% C; 5) 20% SC + 80% C. Urea/ammonium sulfate was used at 9:1 ratio to correct the protein level of sugarcane. A regression analysis was performed using the MIXED procedure. Dry matter intake (DMI) expressed either as kg/day or g/kg of BW was affected (P<0.05) by concentrate level and the maximum intake was estimated to be 63.61 and 75.04% of concentrate respectively. Intake (kg/day) of OM, CP, NDFap, TDN, iNDF, digestible NDFap (NDFapD), and NFC were affected by concentrate level (P<0.05) and their maximum intake was estimated to be 63.21; 63.78; 53.14; 64.31; 32.49; 88.47 e 55.46% of concentrate respectively. The ruminal pool size of DM and CP as well as ki (h-1) DM, CP, OM, NDFap, and NFC increased linearly as the dietary levels of concentrate increased. The ruminal digestion rate (kg h-1) of DM and NDFap as well as the passage rate (kg h-1) of CP increased linearly as the dietary levels of concentrate increased. The maximum omasal flux (kg/day) of DM and iNDF were estimated to be 52.22 and 31.45% of dietary concentrate respectively. Apparent digestibility of DM, EE, and NFC also increased linearly (P<0.05) with the increase of concentrate levels. Data suggest that levels up to 65% of concentrate result in greater energy intake by cattle fed sugarcane based diets.
feed intake; passage rate; microbial efficiency