Effects of Protein Supply from Soyhulls and Wheat Bran on Ruminal Metabolism, Nutrient Digestion and Ruminal and Omasal Concentrations of Soluble Non-ammonia Nitrogen of Steers

  • Received : 2009.02.03
  • Accepted : 2009.05.06
  • Published : 2009.09.01


Three beef steers fitted with permanent cannulae in the rumen and duodenum were used to determine the effects of protein supply from soyhulls (SH) and wheat bran (WB) on ruminal metabolism, blood metabolites, nitrogen metabolism, nutrient digestion and concentrations of soluble non-ammonia nitrogen (SNAN) in ruminal (RD) and omasal digesta (OD). In a 3${\times}$3 Latin square design, steers were offered rice straw and concentrates formulated either without (control) or with two brans to increase crude protein (CP) level (9 vs. 11% dietary DM for control and bran-based diets, respectively). The brans used were SH and WB that had similar CP contents but different ruminal CP degradability (52 vs. 80% CP for SH and WB, respectively) for evaluating the effects of protein degradability. Ruminal ammonia concentrations were higher for bran diets (p<0.01) than for the control, and for WB (p<0.001) compared to the SH diet. Similarly, microbial nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen were significantly increased (p<0.05) by bran and WB diets, respectively. Retained nitrogen tended (p<0.082) to be increased by SH compared with the WB diet. Intestinal and total tract CP digestion was enhanced by bran diets. In addition, bran diets tended (p<0.085) to increase intestinal starch digestion. Concentrations of SNAN fractions in RD and OD were higher (p<0.05) for bran diets than for the control, and for WB than for the SH diet. More rumendegraded protein supply resulting from a higher level and degradability of CP released from SH and WB enhanced ruminal microbial nitrogen synthesis and ruminal protein degradation. Thus, free amino acids, peptides and soluble proteins from microbial cells as well as degraded dietary protein may have contributed to increased SNAN concentrations in the rumen and, consequently, the omasum. These results indicate that protein supply from SH and WB, having a low level of protein (13 and 16%, respectively), could affect ruminal metabolism and nutrient digestion if inclusion level is relatively high (>20%).


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