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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Volume 15(11); 2002 > Article
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2002;15(11): 1591-1598.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2002.1591    Published online January 1, 2002.
Effect of Dietary Structural to Nonstructural Carbohydrate Ratio on Rumen Degradability and Digestibility of Fiber Fractions of Wheat Straw in Sheep
Z.-L. Tan, D.-X. Lu, M. Hu, W.-Y. Niu, C.-Y. Han, X.-P. Ren, R. Na, S.-L. Lin
Abstract
The effect of different dietary structural carbohydrate (SC) to nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) ratios on fiber degradation, digestion, flow, apparent digestibility and rumen fluid characteristics was studied with a design using 18 wethers fitted with permanent rumen and duodenum cannulae. All sheep were divided into six groups randomly, receiving six diets with varying SC to NSC ratios. All diets contained the same proportion of wheat straw and concentrate. The dietary SC to NSC ratios were adjusted by adding cornstarch to the concentrate supplements. The duodenal and fecal flows of dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), hemicellulose (HC) and cellulose (CEL) were estimated using chromium-mordanted wheat straw as a flow marker. The degradation parameters of wheat straw DM, NDF, ADF, HC and CEL were determined by incubating the ground wheat straw in nylon bags in the rumen for different periods of time. There was no effect (p>0.05) of the different dietary SC to NSC ratios on rumen pH or NH3-N, but acetate, propionate and butyrate concentrations were significantly affected (p<0.05 or p<0.01) by dietary SC to NSC ratios in the rumen fluid. When the dietary SC to NSC ratio was 2.86, the highest rumen degradability of wheat straw DM, NDF, ADF and CEL was found, but the highest apparent rumen digestibilities of DM, NDF, ADF, HC and CEL occurred at a 2.64 SC to NSC ratio. However, because of compensatory digestion in the hindgut, the apparent digestibilities of DM, NDF, ADF, HC and CEL were highest when the dietary SC to NSC ratio was 2.40. In conclusion, there is a optimal range of dietary SC to NSC ratios (between 2.86 and 2.40) that is beneficial to maximize wheat straw fiber degradation and apparent digestibility.
Keywords: Carbohydrate; Fibre Degradation; Fibre Flow; Apparent Digestibility; Sheep


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