Influence of endosperm vitreousness and kernel moisture at harvest on site and extent of digestion of high-moisture corn by feedlot steers
Szasz, J.I.; Hunt, C.W.; Szasz, P.A.; Weber, R.A.; Owens, F.N.; Kezar, W.; Turgeon, O.A.
Journal of Animal Science 85(9): 2214-2221
Six ruminally and duodenally cannulated Angus-Jersey crossbred steers (450 kg of BW) were used in a 6 x 6 Latin square to evaluate the effect of kernel vitreousness and moisture on intake and digestibility of high-moisture corn. Arranged in a 2 x 3 factorial, diets included a floury (FLO) or a vitreous (VIT) endosperm corn hybrid harvested at 28.1% (DRY), 31.2% (MID), or 35.7% (WET) kernel moisture content. Diet DM consisted of 88.25% high-moisture corn, 6% chopped alfalfa hay, 2% corn gluten meal, 0.75% urea, and 3% supplement. Supplement was included to ensure that the diets contained a minimum (DM basis) of 0.6% Ca, 0.6% K, 0.2% S, 33 mg/kg of monensin, and 11 mg/kg of tylosin. Geometric mean diameter of lyophilized high-moisture corn tended to be less (P = 0.06) for VIT than for FLO, and the calculated particle surface area was 15.8% greater (P = 0.03). An interaction of vitreousness with the quadratic effect of moisture was noted (P < 0.001), such that fraction a and effective degradation for starch tended to be greater for the vitreous hybrid at the least and greatest moisture content but lower for the vitreous hybrid at the intermediate moisture content. Intake and ruminal disappearance of DM, OM, and starch were not influenced by vitreousness or moisture, with ruminal starch disappearance averaging 90.9%. Intestinal starch digestion measured as a percentage of starch entering the intestines averaged 91% and was greater (P < 0.05) for VIT than FLO corn. Averaged across moisture levels, total tract starch digestibility was greater (P < 0.003) for VIT than FLO. Compared with FLO kernels, VIT kernels appeared to be more brittle and therefore shattered more readily when rolled, particularly at the driest kernel moisture level. Furthermore, increased surface area of smaller particles may have been responsible for the greater starch utilization from VIT corn. In contrast with the results from other in situ and in vivo trials with dry-rolled corn grain, in which the starch from vitreous hybrids was less rapidly or completely digested, hybrids with more vitreous starch, when fed as high-moisture corn, had greater total tract starch digestibility, primarily due to greater postruminal starch digestion.