Low-quality roughages in high-concentrate pelleted diets for sheep: digestion and metabolism of nitrogen and energy as affected by dietary fiber concentration.

A. R. Kinser, G. C. Fahey, L. L. Berger, N. R. Merchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two trials were conducted to evaluate effects of, and interactions between, level and source of fiber in the diet on ruminal environment, microbial protein synthesis, nutrient digestion and flow of digesta through the gastrointestinal tract of multiple-fistulated sheep (trial 1; 4 X 4 Latin square design) and on ruminal, digestive and metabolic characteristics of early-weaned lambs (trial 2; randomized complete block design; 3 periods). All diets tested were pelleted and were formulated to contain either 39% or 25% neutral detergent fiber (NDF), with corncobs or cottonseed hulls (CSH) as the major NDF (roughage) sources. In trial 1, dry-matter (DM) and organic-matter (OM) digestibilities were not different (P greater than .05) among treatments. Digestibility of NDF was higher (P less than .05) with high-fiber. Bacterial N synthesis (g N/kg OM truly digested) was not different (P greater than .05) among treatments. Molar proportion acetate was higher (P less than .05) and molar proportion propionate lower (P less than .05) when sheep were fed high-fiber diets. In trial 2, apparent DM digestibility was higher (P less than .05) for lambs fed diets containing corncobs. Energy digestibility was higher (P less than .05) at the low-fiber level and for lambs fed diets containing corncobs. Apparent NDF digestibility by lambs was higher (P less than .05) at the high-fiber level and for lambs fed diets containing corncobs. Nitrogen retained (percentage of N intake) was higher (P less than .05) for lambs fed diets containing CSH. Ruminal pH and molar proportion acetate were higher (P less than .05) and molar proportion propionate lower (P less than .05) for lambs fed high-fiber diets. Although responses to corncob vs CSH inclusion in high-energy pelleted diets differ, both roughages are effective as fiber sources in sheep diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-500
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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