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Effect of drastic undernutrition on digestion in zebu cattle receiving a diet based on rice straw

Grimaud P., Richard D., Vergeron M.P., Guilleret J.R., Doreau M.. 1999. Journal of Dairy Science, 82 (5) : p. 974-981.

DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(99)75317-8

The effect of drastic undernutrition was studied in Bos indicus cows. Four nonlactating cows (body weight = 208 kg) fitted with ruminal cannulas were used in a crossover design. They received, in two 1-mo periods, a diet of 80% rice straw and 20% cottonseed meal fed either at energy maintenance [3.91 kg of dry matter (DM)/d] or at one-third of this intake (1.30 kg of DM/d). The variation in digestibility was studied in relation to particle retention time and microbial events. Organic matter digestibility decreased with underfeeding (64.5 and 53.7%, respectively, at high and low intakes) without modification of mean ruminal or total tract retention times. This lower digestibility can be related to a decrease in protozoal population in the rumen; however, other characteristics of microbial activity did not vary, such as in situ DM degradability (41.9 and 43.3%, respectively, at high and low intakes) and ruminal soluble Ca concentration, a factor involved in the attachment of microorganisms to feed particles. Mean size of ruminal particles was not modified, although more time spent chewing was observed at the low intake (165 and 221 min/kg of DM intake, respectively, at high and low intakes). This experiment confirms that, at intakes below maintenance, digestibility can decrease when feed intake is restricted, contrary to the general view described in the literature.

Mots-clés : zébu; sous-alimentation; digestion; régime alimentaire; paille de riz

Article (a-revue à facteur d'impact)

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