The objectives of this research were to test interactions of supplement type, liquid versus dry, and forage type, hay versus corn stover, on digestibility and ruminal metabolism of beef cattle. Ruminally fistulated steers were fed in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments: 1) hay with liquid supplement, 2) hay with dry supplement, 3) corn stover with liquid supplement, and 4) corn stover with dry supplement. The liquid supplement was molasses and glycerin based (23.3% CP and 1.63 Mcal/kg NEm) whereas the dry supplement was ground corn based (16.8% CP and 1.81 Mcal/kg NEm). Each period, steers were adapted to diets for 14 d and samples were collected for 8 d. In situ disappearance was determined by a 24-h incubation of Dacron bags, containing soybean hulls, in the rumen. There were no interactions (P ≥ 0.25) of supplement and forage type on DMI, apparent total tract digestibility, or ruminal pH. There was a tendency (P = 0.08) for a forage × supplement type interaction for in situ NDF disappearance (ISNDFD). There were no differences in ISNDFD in steers fed hay, but liquid supplement increased ISNDFD in steers fed corn stover. There were no main effects (P ≥ 0.12) of supplement type on DMI, apparent total tract or in situ digestibility, or ruminal pH. There was a supplement × hour interaction (P = 0.04) for acetate concentrations. Although no effect occurred at 0 h after feeding, at 3 and 6 h after feeding, acetate concentrations were reduced in steers fed liquid supplements when compared with those fed dry supplements. In addition, there was a supplement × hour (P = 0.02) interaction for butyrate concentrations, where at all time points, butyrate concentrations increased (P ≤ 0.01) in steers fed liquid supplements when compared with those fed dry supplements. Steers fed hay had increased DMI (P < 0.01) and apparent total tract NDF digestibility (P = 0.07) when compared with steers fed corn stover, regardless of supplement type. At 0, 1.5, and 18 h after feeding, ruminal pH was greater (P ≤ 0.01) in cattle consuming corn stover when compared with those fed hay, regardless of supplement type. However, steers fed hay had increased (P < 0.01) concentrations of acetate and total VFA compared with steers fed corn stover, regardless of supplement. Feeding liquid supplement increased ISNDFD when steers were fed corn stover; however, these changes were not associated with differences in total tract digestibility. Regardless of forage type fed, the liquid supplement increased ruminal butyrate concentrations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology