Chemical Composition, In vitro Gas Production, Ruminal Fermentation and Degradation Patterns of Diets by Grazing Steers in Native Range of North Mexico

  • Murillo, M. (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Juarez University of the State of Durango) ;
  • Herrera, E. (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Juarez University of the State of Durango) ;
  • Carrete, F.O. (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Juarez University of the State of Durango) ;
  • Ruiz, O. (Faculty of Animal Science and Ecology, Autonomous University of Chihuahua) ;
  • Serrato, J.S. (Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science, Juarez University of the State of Durango)
  • Received : 2012.05.22
  • Accepted : 2012.07.16
  • Published : 2012.10.01


The objective of the study was to quantify annual and seasonal differences in the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, in situ degradability and ruminal fermentation of grazing steers… diets. Diet samples were collected with four esophageal cannulated steers ($350{\pm}3$ kg BW); and four ruminally cannulated heifers ($342{\pm}1.5$ kg BW) were used to study the dry matter degradation and fermentation in rumen. Data were analyzed with repeated measurements split plot design. The crude protein, in vitro dry matter digestibility and metabolizable energy were higher during the first year of trial and in the summer (p<0.01). The values of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper were higher in summer (p<0.05). The gas produced by the soluble and insoluble fractions, as well as the constant rate of gas production were greater in summer and fall (p<0.01). The ammonia nitrogen ($NH_3N$) and total volatile fatty acids concentrations in rumen, the soluble and degradable fractions, the constant rate of degradation and the effective degradability of DM and NDF were affected by year (p<0.05) and season (p<0.01). Our study provides new and useful knowledge for the formulation of protein, energetic and mineral supplements that grazing cattle need to improve their productive and reproductive performance.


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