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Effect of source and amount of fiber on kinetics of digestion and specific gravity of forage particles in the rumen



Effect of source and amount of fiber on kinetics of digestion and specific gravity of forage particles in the rumen



Journal of Dairy Science 74(11): 3872-3883



This experiment investigated the relationship between kinetics of digestion and change in specific gravity during in situ incubation. Nine cows were fed three sources of fiber (corn silage, alfalfa silage, or alfalfa hay) in diets formulated to contain 25, 30, or 35% NDF in three simultaneous 3 x 3 Latin squares. Method of alfalfa preservation did not influence rate of digestion or rate of increase in specific gravity of forage particles measured by a flotation technique. Prior to incubation, specific gravity of forage particles was in increasing order: alfalfa hay, alfalfa silage, and then corn silage. Essentially, all particles with a specific gravity less than 1.0 shifted to a higher specific gravity fraction by hydration within the first 4 h of incubation. From 4 to 56 h of incubation, percentage of residual DM that settled in solution having specific gravity of 1.3 increased linearly from 21 to 27% for corn silage but exponentially from 3 to 20% for alfalfa forages. Fractional rates of DM and NDF digestion and increase in percentage of residual DM having a specific gravity greater than 1.3 increased with the amount of fiber in the alfalfa diets and were correlated positively, suggesting that rate of increase in specific gravity, which affects rate of passage from the rumen, is influenced by rate of digestion of forage particles.

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Accession: 002086744

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1661750

DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78580-9



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