TitleInfluence of rumen protein degradability and supplementation frequency on performance and nitrogen use in ruminants consuming low-quality forage: cow performance and efficiency of nitrogen use in wethers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsBohnert, DW, Schauer, CS, Delcurto, T
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Date Published2002 Jun
KeywordsAnimals, Cattle, degradability, Dietary Proteins, Dietary Supplements, Digestion, Female, frequency, Male, Nitrogen, Nutritional Requirements, Pregnancy, protein, Random Allocation, Rumen, Sheep, supplementation

Two studies were conducted to determine the influence of CP degradability and supplementation frequency (SF) on ruminant performance and N efficiency. Treatments included an unsupplemented control (CON) and degradable intake protein (DIP; 82% of CP) or undegradable intake protein (UIP; 60% of CP) provided daily, every 3 d, or every 6 d. Seven wethers (36+/-1 kg BW) were used in the digestibility study with DIP and UIP treatments formulated to meet CP requirements. Eighty-four Angus x Hereford cows (512+/-42 kg BW) in the last third of gestation were used for the performance study. The DIP treatments were calculated to provide 100% of the DIP requirement and UIP treatments were provided on an isonitrogenous basis compared with DIP. Basal diets consisted of low-quality (5% CP) meadow hay. Forage DMI and N intake by lambs decreased (P < 0.05) linearly as SF decreased. Additionally, DMI, OM intake, N retention, N digestibility, and digested N retained were greater (P < 0.01) for supplemented wethers than for controls with no difference due to crude protein degradability. Nitrogen balance, DMI, and OM intake decreased linearly (P < 0.05) as SF decreased. Plasma urea (PU; mM) was measured over a 6-d period and supplemented lambs had increased (P < 0.01) PU compared with CON. Plasma urea linearly decreased (P < 0.01) as SF decreased. Pre- and postcalving (within 14 d and 24 h of calving, respectively) cow weight and body condition score change were more positive (P < 0.05) for supplemented groups than for controls. Results suggest CP supplements consisting of 20 to 60% UIP can be effectively used by ruminants consuming low-quality forage without adversely affecting N efficiency and animal performance, even when provided as infrequently as once every 6 d.

Alternate JournalJ. Anim. Sci.
Full Text
PubMed ID12078745