Effect of different sources of non-fiber carbohydrate on ruminal pH and in vitro digestibility of tropical forage
Keywords:Corn processing, Citrus Pulp, Fiber digestibility, Rumen pH, Forage sources
The present study aimed to evaluate non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC) in sugarcane-based diets on rumen pH, and forage digestibility, and to describe NFC degradation curves. The study consisted of two trials. For the first trial, three rumen cannulated steers, BW of 350 ± 15 kg (mean ± SE), were assigned in a 3×3 Latin Square (LS) design. They were fed diets containing finely-ground (0.9 mm average particle size) corn (GC), steam-rolled corn (SRC), or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP). Each period had 14 d, with the first 12 for adaptation. The 13th d was for serial measurement of rumen pH, and the14th for rumen fluid collection and in vitro incubation for DM and NDF digestibility (IVDMD and IVNDFD) of bermudagrass hay (Hay), corn (CS), and sugarcane (SS) silages. In the second trial, rumen fluid of a cannulated bull, fed corn silage and a regular concentrate, was collected for in vitro digestion of NFC for multiple time points. The incubation results were used to adjust the NFC degradation curves, and calculate lag-time, feed fractions, and degradation rate. Data from first trial was analyzed in a 3×3 LS. The model for the digestibility parameters included fixed effects of forage (Feed), diets with NFC (Diet), and their interaction (Feed × Diet), and random effect of animal and period. The model for rumen pH included fixed effect of diet, time as repeated measures, animal and period as random effects. The significance was considered at probability ≤ 5% (α = 0.05). The NFC degradation curves were adjusted using the PROC NLIN procedure from SAS, and equation parameters compared using confidence intervals. There was a Diet × Time interaction on rumen pH (P = 0.04), where SRC decreased pH compared to PCP and GC diets at the time 6 h, only. There was no Feed × Diet interaction effect (P > 0.05) for any digestibility parameter. There was a Feed effect on both IVDMD and IVNDFD, either after 30 or 48 h incubation (P < 0.01). The CS had the greatest IVDMD, followed by SS and Hay, after 30 and 48 h of incubation. The CS had the greatest IVNDFD after 30 h, compared to SS and Hay. However, for IVNDFD after 48 h, CS presented the greatest mean, followed by SS and Hay. The rumen fluid from animals fed SRC decreased both IVDMD and IVNDFD (P < 0.05) of all roughages after 48 h. Results from the second trial showed that the PCP had lower Lag Time, B fraction and greater kd compared to both corn sources, and SRC had greater kd than GC. In conclusion, the SRC diet decreased rumen pH 6 h after feeding and, consequently, decreased fiber digestibility of the tropical forage sources evaluated. Although the PCP had lower lag time, and faster rate of degradation of B fraction, it did not negatively affect rumen pH or fiber digestibility of forage.
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