ABSTRACT:The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS), a mechanistic model that predicts nutrient requirements and biological values of feeds for cattle, was modified for use with sheep. Published equations were added for predicting the energy and protein requirements of sheep, with a special emphasis on dairy sheep, whose specific needs are not considered by most sheep-feeding systems. The CNCPS for cattle equations that are used to predict the supply of nutrients from each feed were modified to include new solid and liquid ruminal passage rates for sheep, and revised equations were inserted to predict metabolic fecal N. Equations were added to predict fluxes in body energy and protein reserves from BW and condition score. When evaluated with data from seven published studies (19 treatments), for which the CNCPS for sheep predicted positive ruminal N balance, the CNCPS for sheep predicted OM digestibility, which is used to predict feed ME values, with no mean bias (1.1 g/100 g of OM; P > 0.10) and a low root mean squared prediction error (RMSPE; 3.6 g/100 g of OM). Crude protein digestibility, which is used to predict N excretion, was evaluated with eight published studies (23
-Tannins represent one of the most abundant polyphenolic compounds in plants. Tannins exist as a multitude of chemically unique entities in nature. The most commonly occurring tannins are typically divided into two major classes based on chemical structure: hydrolysable (HT) or condensed tannins (CT). Hydrolysable tannins are esters of gallic or ellagic acid linked to a polyol core, typically glucose. Condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins consist of flavan-3-ol subunits linked together to form oligomers and polymers. Both HT and CT are defined as astringent, medium-to-high-molecular weight polyphenolic compounds that characteristically bind and precipitate soluble proteins. The objective of this paper was to present recent advances in CT-ruminant interactions, the limitations associated with understanding and using CT in ruminant animal production, and future needs for research to further advance our knowledge of the role of CT in optimization of ruminant animal production. Condensed tannins pose some anti-nutritional problems to ruminants due to their astringent property that reduces feed intake and, consequently, animal performance. Ruminants can, however, tolerate CT by slowly adapting the ruminal microbes to the toxic effects of CT and by releasing CT-binding salivary proteins. The protein-binding ability of CT has some benefits to the ruminant due to complexes formed with essential amino acids, preventing their degradation in the rumen, but releasing them in the lower gut for absorption by the animal. Recent data have suggested increased N retention when CT is given to growing animals. There are potential benefits of using CT and HT for anthelmintic purposes due to their ability to inhibit egg hatching and larval motility of gastrointestinal nematode parasites, especially in small ruminants. Condensed tannins also bind to minerals (Al, Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, and Zn). Although studies with ruminants have been contradictory, it has been reported that because the CT-metal ion complex is stable over a wide pH range, CT may reduce the bioavailability of minerals. Methane mitigation by feeding CT might be the most impactful benefit for ruminant production. Many empirical equations have been developed to predict ruminal methane emissions, but very few have included CT. Future research should focus on the improvement of methodology to assess CT biological activity, interaction with other plant-specialized metabolites, and associated physiological and nutritional impacts on ruminants.
The objectives of this study were to characterize feed efficiency traits and to examine phenotypic correlations between performance and feeding behavior traits, and ultrasound measurements of carcass composition in growing bulls. Individual DMI and feeding behavior traits were measured in Angus bulls (n=341; initial BW=371.1+/-50.8 kg) fed a corn silage-based diet (ME=2.77 Mcal/kg of DM) for 84 d in trials 1 and 2 and for 70 d in trials 3 and 4 by using a GrowSafe feeding system. Meal duration (min/d) and meal frequency (events/d) were calculated for each bull from feeding behavior recorded by the GrowSafe system. Ultrasound measures of carcass 12th-rib fat thickness (BF) and LM area (LMA) were obtained at the start and end of each trial. Residual feed intake (RFIp) was computed from the linear regression of DMI on ADG and midtest BW(0.75) (metabolic BW, MBW), with trial, trial by ADG, and trial by midtest BW(0.75) as random effects (base model). Overall ADG, DMI, and RFIp were 1.44 (SD=0.29), 9.46 (SD=1.31), and 0.00 (SD=0.78) kg/d, respectively. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that inclusion of BW gain in BF and LMA in the base model increased R(2) (0.76 vs. 0.78) and accounted for 9% of the variation in DMI not explained by MBW and ADG (RFIp). Residual feed intake and carcass-adjusted residual feed intake (RFIc) were moderately correlated with DMI (0.60 and 0.55, respectively) and feed conversion ratio (FCR; 0.49 and 0.45, respectively), and strongly correlated with partial efficiency of growth (PEG; -0.84 and -0.78, respectively), but not with ADG or MBW. Gain in BF was weakly correlated with RFIp (0.30), FCR (-0.15), and PEG (-0.11), but not with RFIc. Gain in LMA was weakly correlated with RFIp (0.17) and FCR (-0.19), but not with PEG or RFIc. The Spearman rank correlation between RFIp and RFIc was high (0.91). Meal duration (0.41), head-down duration (0.38), and meal frequency (0.26) were correlated with RFIp and accounted for 35% of the variation in DMI not explained by MBW, ADG, and ultrasound traits (RFIc). These results suggest that adjusting residual feed intake for carcass composition will facilitate selection to reduce feed intake in cattle without affecting rate or composition of gain.
A concern of the USEPA is the volatilization of NH3 from animal manure and CH4 produced from ruminal fermentation. Excess N in the environment has been associated with adverse effects on human health, and CH4 and N2O emissions are sources of greenhouse gases. The objectives of this paper are to summarize and quantify the benefits of ionophores, principally monensin, in decreasing NH3 and CH4 emissions to the environment and reducing resource utilization in cattle (Bos spp.) production. The data indicate that monensin in the diets of ruminants may decrease protein degradation in the rumen and may increase feed protein utilization by an average of 3.5 percentage units. These changes would have an effect in reducing N losses and decreasing fecal N and the amount of protein that must be fed to meet animal requirements. Additionally, CH4 is produced by enteric fermentation in ruminants, which is responsible for about 33 to 39% of CH4 emissions from agriculture. Ionophores can reduce CH4 production by 25% and decrease feed intake by 4% without affecting animal performance. The inclusion of monensin in beef and dairy cattle diets may benefit air quality by reducing CH4 and N emissions and water quality by reducing N in manure, which can potentially leave the farm through leaching into ground water and through runoff into surface water.
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