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Effect of varying the proportion of molasses in the diet on intake, digestion and microbial protein production by steers

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Tuyen, D. V., Tolosa, X. M., Poppi, D. P. and McLennan, S. R. (2014) Effect of varying the proportion of molasses in the diet on intake, digestion and microbial protein production by steers. Animal Production Science, 55 (1). pp. 17-26.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN13225

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AN13225


The present experiment was conducted to determine the efficiency of microbial protein production in the rumen and intake by cattle fed high-molasses diets. Intake and microbial crude protein (MCP) production were measured along with the concentration of rumen ammonia-nitrogen (N) and volatile fatty acids (VFA), pH and the rate of digestion of roughage in the rumen. Eight Brahman crossbred steers weighing 211 ± 19.3 (± s.d.) kg were used in a double 4 × 4 Latin square design. Steers were allocated to one of four total mixed rations: control (pangola hay only), 25M (25% molasses/urea mix + 75% hay), 50M (50% molasses/urea + 50% hay), and 75M (75% molasses/urea + 25% hay). The production and efficiency of production of MCP (EMCP) of the diet increased quadratically as the level of molasses in the diet increased. The EMCP from the molasses/urea mix was estimated as 166 g MCP/kg digestible organic matter (DOM), a relatively high value. Intake of dry matter (DM) and DOM increased quadratically, reaching a peak when molasses was ~50% (as fed) of the ration. Digestibility of DM increased quadratically and that of neutral detergent fibre decreased linearly with increasing level of molasses in the diet. Molasses inclusion in the diet had no effect on rumen pH, ammonia and VFA concentration in the rumen fluid, plasma urea-N, urine pH or ruminal fractional outflow rate of ytterbium-labelled particles and Cr-EDTA. It was concluded that a diet with a high level of molasses (>50%) and supplemented with adequate N had high EMCP, and that low MCP production was not a factor limiting intake or performance of cattle consuming high-molasses diets.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:efficiency, microbial protein production.
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:21 Jan 2015 04:04
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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