Effects of Feeding System on Rumen Fermentation Parameters and Nutrient Digestibility in Holstein Steers

  • Li, D.Y. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Sang S. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Choi, N.J. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, S.Y. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Sung, H.G. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yun, S.G. (National Livestock Research, RDA) ;
  • Ha, J.K. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2003.04.25
  • Published : 2003.10.01


In order to compare effects of feeding systems on rumen fermentation characteristics and nutrient digestion, steers were fed either total mixed ration (TMR) or separate concentrate-roughage ration (CR). Total tract digestibility of nutrients was higher in steers receiving TMR. Especially, DM, ADF and NDF in TMR were digested to a greater extent than those in CR. Rumen pH was not influenced by the feeding systems. Holstein steers on TMR had higher ruminal $NH_3$-N than those on CR. Feeding system did not alter VFA production but TMR feeding resulted in lower A/P ratio. TMR feeding tended to increase the number of bacteria and protozoa in the rumen fluid. Also steers fed TMR generally had higher fiber degrading enzyme activities, which might be the result of increased number of cellulolytic microbes in the rumen of animals on TMR. Our results indicate that TMR may provide more favorable condition for nutrient digestion both in the rumen and in the total tract of steers.


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