Kinetics of digestion of low-quality forage grazed by beef cattle fed supplements containing increasing levels of rumen undegradable protein


R. Bras. Zootec.




ABSTRACT This experiment was conducted to evaluate the degradation kinetics and microbial efficiency of beef cattle grazing on low-quality forage and receiving supplements with different levels of rumen undegradable protein (RUP). The animals grazed on palisade grass pasture solely or this pasture and supplement containing 40 or 60 g of RUP per 100 g of crude protein (CP). The degradation profiles of neutral detergent fiber, fiber carbohydrates, and neutral detergent insoluble protein were interpreted kinetically by using a decreasing logistic model. Treatments (no supplement, or RUP at 40 or 60 g−1 100 g CP) did not affect rumen fill; however, the increase in the indigestible fiber carbohydrate fraction that occurred at the expense of the digestible fiber carbohydrate fraction resulted in a greater rumen fill effect. The palisade grass showed a significant proportion of its nitrogen in the form of slowly degradable protein as neutral detergent insoluble protein, which amounted to 26 g per 100 g CP. Supplementation with 40 g of RUP per 100 g CP decresead the indigestible fraction of the low-quality forage. However, the absence of a rumen-fill effect demonstrates that the additional supply of nutrients contributes greatly to increasing growth efficiency and use of the available energy from the forage by the ruminal microorganisms.

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