Use of cutine to estimate ruminal, intestinal, and total tract digestibilities of nutrients in steers fed different protein supplements

Six Holstein x Zebu steers fitted with ruminal and abomasal cannulas and fed diets containing two levels of soybean hulls and three different protein supplements were used to determine ruminal, intestinal, and total tract digestibilities of nutrients. Cutine was used as the internal marker to quantify DM contents of both abomasal digesta and feces. After 15 days of diet adaptation, twelve samples of abomasal digesta and feces were taken from each animal in each period. Contents of cutine, DM, OM, CP, NDF, ADF, and NFC were all determined in samples that were pooled for animal and period. No significant differences in the amounts of ruminal, abomasal, and intestinal DM, OM, NDF, ADF, and CP were observed among protein supplemnts. Feeding starea to steers resulted in higher intake of NFC but lower DM, NDF, ADF, and NFC digestibility coefficients compared to the other protein supplements. Increasing soybean hulls levels in the diet also increased apparent ruminal and total tract digestibilities of all nutrients excepting crude protein in the rumen. It can be concluded that cutine can potentially be used as an internal marker to estimate passage rate of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants.

dry matter; marker; soybean hulls; soybean meal; starea

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