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Effect of Roughage Sources on Cellulolytic Bacteria and Rumen Ecology of Beef Cattle

  • Wora-anu, S. ;
  • Wanapat, Metha ;
  • Wachirapakorn, C. ;
  • Nontaso, N.
  • Received : 2006.06.12
  • Accepted : 2007.07.12
  • Published : 2007.11.01

Abstract

The effect of different tropical feed sources on rumen ecology, cellulolytic bacteria, feed intake and digestibility of beef cattle was investigated. Four fistulated, castrated male crossbred cattle were randomly allocated to a $4{\times}4$ Latin square design. The treatments were: T1) urea-treated (5%) rice straw (UTS); T2) cassava hay (CH); T3) fresh cassava foliage (FCF); T4) UTS:FCF (1:1 dry matter basis). Animals were fed concentrates at 0.3% of body weight on a DM basis and their respective diets on an ad libitum basis. The experimental period was 21 days. The results revealed that the use of UTS, CH, FCF and UTS:FCF as roughage sources could provide effective fiber and maintain an optimal range of ruminal pH and $NH_3-N$. Total viable and cellulolytic bacterial populations were enhanced (p<0.05) with UTS as the roughage source. Animals fed FCF had a higher rumen propionate production (p<0.05) with a lower cellulolytic bacteria count. Moreover, three predominant cellulolytic bacteria species, namely Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus albus and Ruminococcus flavefaciens, were found in all treatment groups. Roughage intake and total DM intake were highest with UTS (2.2 and 2.5% BW, respectively) as the roughage source (p<0.05). Nutrient intake in terms of organic matter intake (OMI) was similar in UTS, CH and UTS:FCF treatments (8.0, 6.8 and 8.7 kg/d, respectively), while crude protein intake (CPI) was enhanced in CH, FCF and UTS:FCF as compared to the UTS treatment (p<0.05). Digestion coefficients of DM and organic matter (OM) were similar among treatments, while the CP digestion coefficients were similar in CH, FCF and UTS:FCF treatments, but were higher (p<0.05) in CH than in UTS. CP and ADF digestible intakes (kg/d) were highest (p<0.05) on the CH and UTS treatments, respectively. It was also observed that feeding FCF as a full-feed resulted in ataxia as well as frequent urination; therefore, FCF should only be fed fresh as part of the feed or be fed wilted. Hence, combined use of FCF and UTS as well as CH and FCF were recommended.

Keywords

Cassava Hay;Cassava Foliage;Urea-treated Rice Straw;Cellulolytic Bacteria Species;Roughage;Rumen

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