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

  • Wora-anu, S. (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Faculty of Agriculture Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wanapat, Metha (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Faculty of Agriculture Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wachirapakorn, C. (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Faculty of Agriculture Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Nontaso, N. (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University)
  • Received : 2006.06.12
  • Accepted : 2007.07.12
  • Published : 2007.11.01


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.


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


  1. Cressman, S. G., D. G. Grieve, G. K. McLoad, E. E. Wheeler and L. G. Young. 1980. Influence of dietary protein concentraion on milk production by dairy cattle in early lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 63:1839-1847.
  2. Crocker, C. L. 1967. Rapid determination of urea nitrogen in serum or plasma without deprotenization. Am. J. Medic. Technol. 33:361.
  3. Bromner, J. M. and D. R. Keeney. 1965. Steam distillation methods of determination of ammonium, nitrate and nitrite. Anal. Chem. Acta. 32:485.
  4. Chanjula, P., M. Wanapat, C. Wachirapakorn and P. Rowlinson. 2004. Effect of synchronizing starch sources and protein (npn) in the rumen on feed intake, rumen microbial fermentation, nutrient utilization and performance of lactating dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 17:1400-1410.
  5. Antonopoulos, D. A., K. E. Nelson, M. Morrison and B. A. White. 2004. Strain-specific genomic regions of Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 as revealed by combinatorial random-phase genome sequencing and suppressive subtractive hybridization. Environ. Microbiol. 6:335-346.
  6. AOAC. 1985. Official Method of Analysis. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, DC.
  7. Bera-Maillet, C., Y. Ribot and E. Forano. 2004. Fiber-degrading systems of different strains of the genus fibrobacter. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:2172-2179.
  8. Hungate, R. E. 1969. A roll tube method for cultivation of strict anaerobes. In:Methods in Microbiology (Ed. J. R. Norris and D. W. Ribbons). New York:Academic. 313:117.
  9. Kanjanapruthipong, J. and R. A. Leng. 1998. The effects of dietary urea on microbial populations in the rumen of sheep. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 11:661-672.
  10. Hong, N. T. T., M. Wanapat, C. Wachirapakorn, P. Pakdee and P. Rowlinson. 2003. Effects of timing of initial cutting and subsequent cutting on yields and chemical compositions of cassava hay and its supplementation on lactating dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:1763-1769.
  11. Hungate, R. E. 1966. The rumen and it microbes (Ed. R. E. Hungate). Academic Press, New York, NY.
  12. Goering, H. K. and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage fiber analysis (Apparatus, Reagent, Procedures and some Application). Agric. Handbook. No. 397, ARS, USDA, Washington, DC.
  13. Hobson, P. N. 1965. Continuous culture of some anaerobic and facutatively anaerobic rumen bacteria. J. Gen. Microbiol. 38:80-167.
  14. Granum, G., M. Wanapat, P. Pakdee, C. Wachirapakorn and W. Toburan. 2007. A Comparative Study on the Effect of Cassava Hay Supplementation in Swamp Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) and Cattle (Bos indicus). Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. (in press).
  15. Koike, S., S. Yoshitani, Y. Kobayashi and K. Tanaka. 2003. Phylogenetic analysis of fiber-associated rumen bacterial community and PCR detection of uncultured bacteria. FEMS Microbiolology Letters. 229:23-30.
  16. Krause, D. O., R. J. Bunch, W. J. M. Smith and C. S. McSweeney. 1999a. Diversity of Ruminococcus strains: A survey of genetic polymorphisms and plant digestibility. J. Applied Microbiol. 86:487-495.
  17. Kiyothong, K. and M. Wanapat. 2004. Supplementation of cassava hay and stylo 184 hay to replace concentrate for lactating dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 17(5):670-677.
  18. Koike, S. and Y. Kobayashi. 2001. Development and use of competitive PCR assays for the rumen cellulolytic bacteria: Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus albus and Ruminococcus flavefaciens. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 204:361-366.
  19. Khampa, S., M. Wanapat, C. Wachirapakorn, N. Nontaso and M. Wattiaux. 2006. Effects of urea level and sodium dl-malate in concentrate containing high cassava chip on ruminal fermentation efficiency, microbial protein synthesis in lactating dairy cows raised under tropical condition. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 19:837-844.
  20. Steel, R. G. D. and J. H. Torries. 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistic a Biomatereal Approach. (2nd ed), McGrow-Hill. New York: USA.
  21. Van Keulen, J. and B. A. Young. 1977. Evaluation of acid insoluble ash as a neutral marker in ruminants digestibility studies. J. Anim. Sci. 44:282-287.
  22. Ravindran, V., E. T. Korneguyand and A. S. B. Rajaguru. 1987. Influence of processing methods and storage time on thyocyanide potential of cassava leaf meal. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 17:227-234.
  23. Reed, J. D. 1995. Nutritional toxicology of tannins and related prolyphenols in forage legumes. J. Anim. Sci. 73:1516-1528.
  24. SAS. 1999. User's Guide : Statistics, Version 5 Edition. SAS. Inst. Cary, NC.
  25. Perdok, H. B. and L. A. Leng. 1990. Effect of supplementation with protein meal on the growth of cattle given a basal diet of untreated ammoniated rice straw. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 3:269-279.
  26. Phengvichith, V. and I. Ledin. 2007. Effects of supplementing gamba grass (andropogon gayanus) with cassava (manihot esculenta crantz) hay and cassava root chips on feed intake, digestibility and growth in goats. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 20:725-732.
  27. Wanapat, M. and O. Pimpa. 1999. Effect of ruminal $NH_3-N$ levels on ruminal fermentation, purine derivatives, digestibility and rice straw intake in swamp buffaloes. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 12:904-907.
  28. Wanapat, M. 2003. Manipulation of Cassava Cultivation and Utilization to Improve Protein to Energy Biomass for Livestock Feeding in the Tropics. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16(3):463-472.
  29. Wanapat, M. and S. Khampa. 2006. Effect of cassava hay in highquality feed block as anthelmintics in steers grazing on ruzi grass. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 19:695-698.
  30. Wanapat, M. and S. Khampa. 2007. Effect of levels of supplementation of concentrate containing high levels of cassava chip on rumen ecology, microbial n supply and digestibility of nutrients in beef cattle. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 20:75-81.
  31. Wanapat, M. 1985. Improving rice straw quality as ruminant feed by urea-treated in Thailand. In: Proc. of Relevance of crop residues as animal feeds in developing countries (Ed. M. Wanapat and C. Devendra) Funny Press, Bangkok, Thailand.
  32. Wanapat, M. 1999. Feeding of ruminants in the tropics based on local feed resources. Khon Kaen Publishing Company Ltd., Khon Kaen, Thailand. p. 236.
  33. Wanapat, M., F. Sundstol and J. M. R. Hall. 1986. A comparison of alkali treatment methods used to improve the nutritive value of straw. II. in sacco and in vitro degradation relative to in vivo digestibility. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 14:215-220.
  34. Wanapat, M., N. Notaso, C. Yuangklang, S. Wora-anu, A. Ngarmsaeng, C. Wachirapakorn and P. Rowlinson. 2003. A comparative study between wamp buffalo and native cattle in feed digestibility and potential transfer of buffalo rumen into cattle. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:504-510.
  35. Wanapat, M., O. Pimpa, A. Petlum and U. Boontao. 1997. Cassava hay : A new strategic feed for ruminants during the dry season. Livestock Research for Rural Development 9(2);LRRD Home Page.
  36. Wanapat, M., C. Promkot and S. Wanapat. 2006. Effect of cassoyurea pellet as a protein source in concentrate on ruminal fementation and digestibility in cattle. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 19:1004-1009.
  37. Wanapat, M. and O. Pimpa. 1999. Effect of ruminal $NH_3-N$ levels on ruminal fermentation, purine derivatives, digestibility and rice straw intake in swamp buffaloes. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 12:904-907.
  38. Weimer, P. J. 1996. Why don't ruminal bacteria digest cellulose faster. J. Dairy Sci. 79:1496-1502.
  39. Wanapat, M., T. Varvikko and A. Vanhatalo. 1990. The influence of selected chemical treatments on the ruminal degradation and subsequent intestinal digestion of cereal straw. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 3:75-83.
  40. Wanapat, M., T. Puramongkon and W. Siphuak. 2000d. Feeding of cassava hay for lactating dairy cows during the dry season. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:478-482.
  41. Wanapat, M. 2000. Rumen manipulation to increase the efficient use of local feed resources and productivity of ruminants in the Tropics. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13(Suppl.):59-67.
  42. Wanapat, M., S. Chumpawadee and P. Paengkoum. 2000a. Utilization of urea-treated rice straw and whole sugar cone crop as roughage sources for dairy cattle during the dry season. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:474-485.
  43. Krause, D. O., B. P. Dalrymple, W. J. Smith, R. I. Mackie and C. S. McSweeney. 1999b. 16S rDNA sequencing of Ruminoncoccus albus and Ruminococcus flavefaciens: designed of a signature probe and its application in adult sheep. Microbiol. 145:1797-1807.
  44. Deng, W., L. Wang, S. Ma, B. Jin, T. bao He, Z. Yang, H. Mao and M. Wanapat. 2007. Comparison of Gayal (Bos frontalis) and Yunnan Yellow cattle (Bos taurus): rumen function, digestibilities and nitrogen balance during feeding of pelleted lucerne (Medicago sativum). Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 20:900-907.
  45. Wanapat, M., A. Petlum and O. Pimpa. 2000c. Supplementation of cassava hay to replace concentrate use in lactating Holstein-Friesian crossbreds. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:600-604.

Cited by

  1. Effect of carbohydrate sources and cotton seed meal in the concentrate: II. Feed intake, nutrient digestibility, rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis in beef cattle vol.44, pp.1, 2012,
  2. ) under different feeding regimes vol.97, pp.2, 2012,
  3. Changes of rumen pH, fermentation and microbial population as influenced by different ratios of roughage (rice straw) to concentrate in dairy steers vol.152, pp.04, 2014,
  4. Feeding tropical dairy cattle with local protein and energy sources for sustainable production vol.46, pp.1, 2018,