Forage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content and particle size are important factors that affect rumen function. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects on rumen health, NDF digestibility, and animal performance of pelleting a forage-based diet. Eight Holstein heifers (age 336 ± 30 d, body weight 346 ± 35 kg) were randomly assigned to a repeated crossover design. Animals were housed in tie-stalls and fed for ad libitum intake. The study included 4 periods of 3 wk, the first 2 wk for adaptation to the diet and the last wk for data collection. Diets had the same ingredients but had a different physical form: total mixed ration (TMR) and pellet (diameter = 8 mm). The physically effective NDF (peNDF) differed between the 2 treatments (39.8 and 11.8% of NDF in the TMR and pellet diets, respectively). During the trial, dry matter intake (DMI), water intake, rumination time, rumen temperature, and pH were evaluated daily. Fecal samples were collected in wk 3 of each period to determine total-tract digestibility of the potential digestible (pd)NDF. Average daily gain and feed conversion ratio were calculated at the end of each period. With the pellet diet, DMI, DMI/body weight, and water consumption were higher. We observed no significant difference in average daily gain or feed conversion ratio. Rumination time was lower for the pellet diet than for the TMR diet (241 vs. 507 min/d, respectively). Diet had no effect on rumen temperature or rumen pH. The total-tract digestibility of the pdNDF was greater with the TMR diet than with the pellet diet (90.25 vs. 86.82% pdNDF, respectively). The results of the current study suggest that a complete-feed pellet diet was well accepted by the animals, as demonstrated by higher DMI. Rumination time was reduced with the pellet diet, but rumen pH was not different. The pdNDF digestibility was high for both diets, but significantly higher for the TMR diet. Given that animal performance was similar between the 2 diets, although they differed with respect to DMI and fiber digestion, we hypothesize that the 2 diets had different retention times, related to their physical form. A complete-feed pellet diet formulated to provide a sufficient level of NDF from forages could be fed to growing ruminants without apparent negative effects on rumen health and animal productivity, at least for a short period. More research over a longer growing period is needed before recommending this feeding strategy for growing heifer

Effects of a completely pelleted diet on growing performance of Holstein heifers / Bonfante, E.; Palmonari, A.; Mammi, L.; Canestrari, G.; Fustini, M.; Formigoni, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 1525-3198. - STAMPA. - 99:12(2016), pp. 9724-9731. [10.3168/jds.2016-11033]

Effects of a completely pelleted diet on growing performance of Holstein heifers.

BONFANTE, ELENA
;
PALMONARI, ALBERTO;MAMMI, LUDOVICA MARIA EUGENIA;CANESTRARI, GIORGIA;FUSTINI, MATTIA;FORMIGONI, ANDREA
2016

Abstract

Forage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content and particle size are important factors that affect rumen function. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects on rumen health, NDF digestibility, and animal performance of pelleting a forage-based diet. Eight Holstein heifers (age 336 ± 30 d, body weight 346 ± 35 kg) were randomly assigned to a repeated crossover design. Animals were housed in tie-stalls and fed for ad libitum intake. The study included 4 periods of 3 wk, the first 2 wk for adaptation to the diet and the last wk for data collection. Diets had the same ingredients but had a different physical form: total mixed ration (TMR) and pellet (diameter = 8 mm). The physically effective NDF (peNDF) differed between the 2 treatments (39.8 and 11.8% of NDF in the TMR and pellet diets, respectively). During the trial, dry matter intake (DMI), water intake, rumination time, rumen temperature, and pH were evaluated daily. Fecal samples were collected in wk 3 of each period to determine total-tract digestibility of the potential digestible (pd)NDF. Average daily gain and feed conversion ratio were calculated at the end of each period. With the pellet diet, DMI, DMI/body weight, and water consumption were higher. We observed no significant difference in average daily gain or feed conversion ratio. Rumination time was lower for the pellet diet than for the TMR diet (241 vs. 507 min/d, respectively). Diet had no effect on rumen temperature or rumen pH. The total-tract digestibility of the pdNDF was greater with the TMR diet than with the pellet diet (90.25 vs. 86.82% pdNDF, respectively). The results of the current study suggest that a complete-feed pellet diet was well accepted by the animals, as demonstrated by higher DMI. Rumination time was reduced with the pellet diet, but rumen pH was not different. The pdNDF digestibility was high for both diets, but significantly higher for the TMR diet. Given that animal performance was similar between the 2 diets, although they differed with respect to DMI and fiber digestion, we hypothesize that the 2 diets had different retention times, related to their physical form. A complete-feed pellet diet formulated to provide a sufficient level of NDF from forages could be fed to growing ruminants without apparent negative effects on rumen health and animal productivity, at least for a short period. More research over a longer growing period is needed before recommending this feeding strategy for growing heifer
2016
Effects of a completely pelleted diet on growing performance of Holstein heifers / Bonfante, E.; Palmonari, A.; Mammi, L.; Canestrari, G.; Fustini, M.; Formigoni, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 1525-3198. - STAMPA. - 99:12(2016), pp. 9724-9731. [10.3168/jds.2016-11033]
Bonfante, E.; Palmonari, A.; Mammi, L.; Canestrari, G.; Fustini, M.; Formigoni, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/567288
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