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Two trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary NPN levels on animal performance, diet digestibility, ruminal characteristics, and microbial efficiency. Experiment 1 was conducted with 24 Holstein x Nellore crossbred steers (350 +/- 20 kg of BW) distributed in 6 blocks to evaluate intake and digestibility of nutrients and performance. The diets consisted of 70% corn silage and 30% concentrate (DM basis) and were formulated to contain 12.5% CP (DM basis). Treatments consisted of 0, 15.5, 31, and 46.5% of dietary N as NPN. There were no treatment differences in the daily intakes of DM (P = 0.47), OM (P = 0.60), CP (P = 0.24), nonfiber carbohydrates (NFC; P = 0.74), or TDN (P = 0.63); however, NDF intake decreased linearly as NPN increased (P = 0.02). Additionally, no effects of NPN were observed on apparent total tract digestibility of DM (P = 0.50), OM (P = 0.53), NDF (P = 0.63), or NFC (P = 0.44). The apparent total tract digestibility of CP increased linearly (P = 0.01), but ADG (1.14 kg/d) was not influenced (P = 0.96) as NPN increased. In Exp. 2, 4 ruminally and abomasally cannulated steers (300 +/- 55 kg of BW) were fed the same diet used in Exp. 1 to evaluate the effects of NPN levels on intake and digestibility of nutrients, ruminal characteristics, and microbial efficiency. There were no differences in the daily intakes of DM (P = 0.22), OM (P = 0.17), CP (P = 0.31), NDF (P = 0.29), or TDN (P = 0.49). However, NFC intake increased linearly (P = 0.02), and there was a quadratic effect (P = 0.01) on intake of ether extract as NPN increased. Ruminal digestibility of CP increased linearly (P = 0.01) with the increase of dietary NPN. There were no differences (P >or= 0.28) in microbial protein synthesis and microbial efficiency among the treatments. The results of these trials suggest that dietary NPN levels (up to 46.5% of total N) can be fed to crossbred steers receiving corn silage-based diets without affecting their growth performance or ruminal protein synthesis.
author list (cited authors)
Chizzotti, F., Pereira, O. G., Tedeschi, L. O., Valadares Filho, S. C., Chizzotti, M. L., Leo, M. I., & Pereira, D. H