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Utilization of nitrogen and energy by Holstein steers fed formaldehyde- and formic acid-treated alfalfa or orchardgrass silage at two intakes



Utilization of nitrogen and energy by Holstein steers fed formaldehyde- and formic acid-treated alfalfa or orchardgrass silage at two intakes



Journal of Animal Science 68(11): 3780-3791



Our objective was to measure the utilization of energy (E) and N by Holstein steers when fed alfalfa and orchardgrass silages offered at 65 and 90 g DM/kg live weight (LW).75 daily. Twelve steers adapted to the Beltsville respiration chambers were assigned to three Latin squares with 42-d periods. Steers in one square had permanent catheters in the portal and two mesenteric veins. Energy and N balance were measured during a 7-d collection of feces and urine that included a 3-d measurement of respiratory exchange. Energy and N variables were not different between catheterized and uncatheterized steers. Apparent digestibilities of DM, OM, CP, neutral detergent solubles and permanganate lignin were higher (P less than .01) and digestibilities of NDF and ADF, hemicellulose and cellulose were lower (P less than .01) for steers consuming alfalfa compared to orchardgrass silage. When fed alfalfa, steers' daily gross energy intake, DE, urine energy, ME, heat production and tissue energy retention were greater (P less than .01) and fecal energy losses were less (P less than .01) than when they were fed orchardgrass. Partial efficiency of ME use for tissue energy (TE) was greater (P less than .01) for steers when fed alfalfa (46.1%) than when fed orchardgrass (35.6%). Apparent ME (kcal/LW.75) required for maintenance of TE was similar for steers when fed alfalfa (133.9) and orchardgrass (131.2) silages. Nitrogen retention (g/d) was 48% greater (P less than .01) for steers when fed alfalfa (30.6) than when fed orchardgrass (20.7). This study demonstrates that steers used ME from alfalfa more efficiently for TE deposition than ME from orchardgrass.

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Accession: 041931027

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PMID: 2262428


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