Impact of corn vitreousness and processing on site and extent of digestion by feedlot cattle
Corona, L.; Owens, F.N.; Zinn, R.A.
Journal of Animal Science 84(11): 3020-3031
Eight cannulated Holstein steers (average BW: 251 kg) were used in 2 simultaneous 4 x 4 Latin squares in a split-plot arrangement to test the effects of processing method [dry-rolled (DR) vs. steam-flaked (SF); main plot] and vitreousness (V, %; subplot) of yellow dent corn (V55, V61, V63, and V65) on site of digestion of diets containing 73.2% corn grain. No vitreousness x processing method interactions were detected for ruminal digestion, but ruminal starch digestion was 14.4% lower (P < 0.01) for DR than for SF corn. Interactions were detected between vitreousness and processing method for postruminal (P < 0.10) and total tract digestion (P < 0.05). With DR, vitreousness tended to decrease (linear effect, P < 0.10) postruminal OM and starch digestion. With SF, vitreousness did not affect (P > or = 0.15) postruminal digestion of OM and starch. Postruminal N digestion tended to decrease (linear effect, P = 0.12) as vitreousness increased. Postruminal digestion was greater for SF than for DR corn OM (25.7%, P < 0.05), starch (94.3%, P < 0.10), and N (10.7%, P < 0.01). Steam flaking increased total tract digestion of OM (11%, P < 0.05), starch (16%, P < 0.01), and N (8.4%, P < 0.05) but decreased total tract ADF digestion (26.7%, P < 0.01). With DR, total tract starch digestion was lower for V65 (cubic effect, P < 0.10) than for the other hybrids. With SF, total tract starch digestion was not affected (P > or = 0.15) by vitreousness. Fecal starch and total tract starch digestion were inversely related (starch digestion, % = 101 - 0.65 x fecal starch, %; r2 = 0.94, P < 0.01). Ruminal pH was greater for steers fed DR than for steers fed SF corn (6.03 vs. 5.62, P < 0.05). Steam flaking decreased (P < 0.01) the ruminal molar proportion of acetate (24%), acetate:propionate molar ratio (55%), estimated methane production (37.5%), and butyrate (11.3%, P < 0.05). There was a vitreousness x processing interaction (P < 0.01) for acetate:propionate. For DR, acetate:propionate tended to increase (linear effect; P < 0.10) with increasing vitreousness. With SF, acetate:propionate was greater (cubic effect, P < 0.01) for V65. Starch from more vitreous corn grain was less digested when corn grain was DR, but this adverse effect of vitreousness on digestion was negated when the corn grain was SF. Of the 19% advantage in energetic efficiency associated with flaked over rolled corn grain, about 3/4 can be attributed to increased OM digestibility, with the remaining 1/4 ascribed to reduced methane loss.