In a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square experiment, six heifers (443 ± 6.1 kg) fed a 61% barley grain:39% alfalfa silage diet (DM basis) were given intraruminal doses of powdered Yucca schidigera (YS). Doses of 0 (control), 20, or 60 g/d were given at 0800 daily. Ruminal content was sampled 0, 2, 4, and 6 h after dosing. Acidity, concentrations of reducing sugars, free amino acids, and peptides in the rumen were not affected (P > .05) by YS. Relative to control, ruminal ammonia concentration was reduced (P < .05) 2 h after YS dosing. Ruminal propionate concentration was increased (P < .05) by YS. Protozoal numbers in the rumen were lower (P < .05) with YS than without. Yucca did not affect (P > .05) rate or extent of in situ DM degradability. Fibrolytic, amylolytic, and proteolytic activities in ruminal contents were similar among treatments (P > .05). Dry matter intake, apparent digestibilities of DM, NDF, and CP, nitrogen balance, and microbial protein synthesis in the rumen were not affected (P > .05) by treatment. The effect of YS on ruminal ammonia concentration likely resulted from a decreased concentration of protozoa and, presumably, from ammonia binding by YS. The effect on ruminal propionate was probably a result of a selective inhibitory effect of YS on rumen microbial species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology