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Substitution of Wheat for Corn in Beef Cattle Diets: Digestibility, Digestive Enzyme Activities, Serum Metabolite Contents and Ruminal Fermentation

  • Liu, Y.F. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Zhao, H.B. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Liu, X.M. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • You, W. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Cheng, H.J. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Wan, F.C. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Liu, G.F. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Tan, X.W. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Song, E.L. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Zhang, X.L. (Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Received : 2015.10.22
  • Accepted : 2015.12.28
  • Published : 2016.10.01

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of diets containing different amounts of wheat, as a partial or whole substitute for corn, on digestibility, digestive enzyme activities, serum metabolite contents and ruminal fermentation in beef cattle. Four Limousin${\times}$LuXi crossbred cattle with a body weight ($400{\pm}10kg$), fitted with permanent ruminal, proximal duodenal and terminal ileal cannulas, were used in a $4{\times}4$ Latin square design with four treatments: Control (100% corn), 33% wheat (33% substitution for corn), 67% wheat (67% substitution for corn), and 100% wheat (100% substitution for corn) on a dry matter basis. The results showed that replacing corn with increasing amounts of wheat increased the apparent digestibility values of dry matter, organic matter, and crude protein (p<0.05). While the apparent digestibility of acid detergent fiber and neutral detergent fiber were lower with increasing amounts of wheat. Digestive enzyme activities of lipase, protease and amylase in the duodenum were higher with increasing wheat amounts (p<0.05), and showed similar results to those for the enzymes in the ileum except for amylase. Increased substitution of wheat for corn increased the serum alanine aminotransferase concentration (p<0.05). Ruminal pH was not different between those given only corn and those given 33% wheat. Increasing the substitution of wheat for corn increased the molar proportion of acetate and tended to increase the acetate-to-propionate ratio. Cattle fed 100% wheat tended to have the lowest ruminal $NH_3-N$ concentration compared with control (p<0.05), whereas no differences were observed among the cattle fed 33% and 67% wheat. These findings indicate that wheat can be effectively used to replace corn in moderate amounts to meet the energy and fiber requirements of beef cattle.

Keywords

Beef Cattle;Digestibility;Digestive Enzyme Activities;Serum Metabolite Contents;Ruminal Fermentation;Wheat

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