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Combinations of high-moisture harvested sorghum grain and dry-rolled corn: effects on site and extent of digestion in beef heifers

Streeter, M.N.; Wagner, D.G.; Owens, F.N.; Hibberd, C.A.

Journal of Animal Science 67(6): 1623-1633

1989


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812
PMID: 2768120
DOI: 10.2527/jas1989.6761623x
Accession: 039605237

To determine the effects of blends of high-moisture harvested sorghum grain (HMS) and dry-rolled corn (DRC) on site and extent of digestion, high-grain diets were fed to Angus-Hereford heifers (315 kg) in a 5 x 5 latin square. The grain portion consisted of ratios (HMS:DRC) of 0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25 and 100:0. Heifers were equipped with ruminal, duodenal and ileal T-type cannulas. Digestibilities of OM (P less than .05) and non-ammonia nitrogen (NAN; P less than .01) in the total tract declined linearly as HMS replaced DRC. Chyme flow (liters/d) through the duodenum increased linearly (P less than .01), and true ruminal OM disappearance tended to decline linearly (P less than .10) as HMS replaced DRC. A quadratic response (P less than .05) in extent of starch disappearance (g/d) in the rumen was noted; blends were lower than either individual grain. Ruminal escape of feed N tended to be quadratic (P less than .10); values for individual grain types were greater than blends. Microbial efficiency increased linearly (P less than .05) as HMS replaced DRC. Extent of starch digestion in the rumen averaged 82.7% compared to only 2.9% in the small intestine and 5.7% in the large intestine. Altering the ratio of HMS to DRC appeared to have more effect on ruminal fermentation than on digestion in the small intestine; most starch and nitrogen responses were quadratic. Increases in ruminal pH and chyme flow, potentially caused by increased salivary flow, may cause non-linear changes in the solubility of proteins in HMS and DRC, when fed as blends, altering the digestibility of protein and starch from values predicted from the individual grains.

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