Effects of corn grain conservation method on ruminal digestion kinetics for lactating dairy cows at two dietary starch concentrations
Oba, M.; Allen, M.S.
Journal of Dairy Science 86(1): 184-194
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302 PMID: 12613864 DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(03)73599-1
Effects of conservation method of corn grain and dietary starch concentration on ruminal digestion kinetics were evaluated. Eight ruminally and duodenally cannulated Holstein cows (55 +/- 15.9 days in milk; mean +/- SD) were used in a duplicated 4 x 4 Latin square design with a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Experimental diets contained either ground high moisture corn (HM) or dry ground corn (DG) at two dietary starch concentrations (32 vs. 21%). Mean particle size and dry-matter concentration of corn grain were 1,863 microm and 63.2%, and 885 microm and 89.7%, for HM and DG, respectively. Starch digestibility in the rumen was greater for HM treatments compared with DG treatments, but starch digestibility in the total tract was not affected by conservation method of corn grain because of compensatory digestion in the intestines. The difference in ruminal starch digestibility between HM and DG treatment was greater for high-starch diets (71.1 vs. 46.9%) compared with low-starch diets (58.5 vs. 45.9%). This interaction is attributed to a greater difference in first-order digestion rate of starch between HM and DG treatment in high-starch diets (28.2 vs. 14.6%/h) compared with low-starch diets (16.8 vs. 12.2%/h). This suggests that ruminal starch digestion is a second-order reaction limited by enzyme activities as well as substrate availability; ruminal contents of cows fed low-starch diets may have insufficient amylolytic activity for maximal starch digestion when readily fermentable starch is available. Rate of neutral detergent fiber digestion in the rumen was slower for high-starch diets and HM treatments compared with low-starch diets and DG treatments, respectively. Effects of corn grain conservation method on ruminal digestion kinetics are greatly altered by starch concentration of diets.