Effects of source and concentration of neutral detergent fiber from roughage in beef cattle diets on feed intake, ingestive behavior, and ruminal kinetics.
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The objectives of this research were to evaluate the effects of source and concentration of -amylase-treated neutral detergent fiber (aNDF) from roughage on feed intake, ingestive behavior, and ruminal kinetics in beef cattle receiving high-concentrate diets. Six ruminally cannulated Nellore steers (408 12 kg of body weight) were randomly assigned to a 6 6 Latin square design with six diets: 10% aNDF from corn silage (10CS); 20% aNDF from corn silage (20CS); or four diets containing 10% aNDF from corn silage and 10% aNDF from one of the following sources: sugarcane (SC), sugarcane bagasse (SCB), soybean hulls (SH), or low oil cottonseed hulls (LOCH). The parameters of passage and degradation kinetics were estimated based on a two-compartmental model with gamma- and exponential-distributed residence times. The nonlinear models were fitted by nonlinear least squares, and a linear mixed-effects model was fitted to all variables measured from the Latin square design that were related to intake, digestibility, digestion kinetic parameters, and residence times. Mean particle size (MPS) between roughage sources (CS, SCB, and SC) and coproducts (SH and LOCH) was affected (P < 0.05). Dry matter intake (DMI) was not affected (P > 0.05) by 20CS, SC, SH, or LOCH. Steers fed 20CS or LOCH diets had 16% and 20% greater DMI, respectively, (P < 0.05) than steers fed 10CS diet. Steers fed SCB consumed the least dry matter (DM). The SH and LOCH diets had lower MPS values (about 8.77 mm) in comparison to 20CS, SCB, and SC diets (about 13.08 mm) and, consequently, affected (P < 0.05) rumen content, ruminal in situ disappearance, nutrient digestibility, and solid fractional passage rate. Chewing time was affected (P < 0.05) by roughage sources and concentration. Lower values of distance travel inside the rumen (min/cm) were observed (P < 0.05) for the SCB and SC diets in comparison with any other diet. Except for SCB, there was no difference (P > 0.05) in rumen fill, among other treatments. Mean daily ruminal pH was not affected (P > 0.05) by 20CS, SCB, SC, and LOCH diets, and it ranged from 6.1 to 6.23. Total short-chain fatty acids concentration was affected (P < 0.05) by roughage source and concentration. Based on our results, we recommend that under Brazilian finishing diets, replacing roughage sources, except for SCB, based on aNDF concentration of the roughage in high-concentrate diets containing finely ground flint corn does not affect DMI.