High-roughate system for raising calves based on the early development of rumen function. XII. In vivo and in vitro changes in rumen contents of calves fed alfafa, beet pulp or soybran flakes as the roughage in complete pelleted rations

Addanki, S.; Hibbs, J.W.; Conrad, H.R.

Journal of Dairy Science 49(8): 982-985


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302
Accession: 024785653

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Thirteen Holstein and 7 Jersey calves were used to study changes in rumen contents to 16 wk of age when fed complete, high-roughage (67%) pelleted rations in which the principal roughage was either alfalfa (OA), beet pulp (OB), or soybran flakes (OS). The pH and volatile fatty acid content of fresh strained rumen juice plus in vitro fatty acid production and cellulose digestibility in an artificial rumen were used as criteria in following the development of rumen function. The propionic acid separated chromatographically from fresh rumen juice was highest in the group fed soybran flakes (OS). Also, in-vitro cellulose digestion was highest in the (OS) group. In all the calves, the development of rumen function was characterized by a rapid rise in total steam-volatile fatty acids in rumen juice to a maximum at about 8 wk of age (highest in the OS group), relatively low rumen pH, below 6.2, until after 6 wk, followed by a rapid rise to 6.7-6.9 and a gradual increase to about 10 wk in the ability of the fresh rumen juice inoculum, from calves fed the different rations, to digest cellulose in vitro.