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The influence of corn starch upon roughage digestion in cattle



The influence of corn starch upon roughage digestion in cattle



Jour Animal Sci 8(2): 271-278



Five series of digestion trials with steers were carried out to obtain information on the effect of starch upon roughage digestion. In the 1st trial, a basal ration containing corn cobs and dried skimmilk was fed at a constant level to which varying amts. of mineralized corn starch was added. In the 2d, 3d, and 4th series the basal feed consisted of high quality alfalfa hay to which were added different amts. of starch. The final series included starch additions to a constant mixture of corn cobs and limited alfalfa hay. A substantial decrease in roughage dry matter digestion was noted when starch was included in the ration in which corn cobs or corn cobs and limited alfalfa hay made up the roughage part of the ration. This decrease in rough-age digestion occurred even though the % protein in the total ration was widely different. Minor decreases in roughage digestibility were noted in 2 alfalfa series and no decrease in a 3d alfalfa series. The variable influence of starch upon roughage digestion can best be explained on the basis of adequate or inadequate nutrients for the growth of microorganisms in the alimentary tract, associated either with starch fermentation or roughage digestion.

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