Effect of incremental proportions of Desmanthus spp. in isonitrogenous forage diets on growth performance, rumen fermentation and plasma metabolites of pen-fed growing Brahman, Charbray and Droughtmaster crossbred beef steers

Mwangi, Felista W., Suybeng, Benedicte, Gardiner, Christopher P., Kinobe, Robert, Charmley, Edward, Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S., and Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O. (2022) Effect of incremental proportions of Desmanthus spp. in isonitrogenous forage diets on growth performance, rumen fermentation and plasma metabolites of pen-fed growing Brahman, Charbray and Droughtmaster crossbred beef steers. PLoS ONE, 17 (1). e0260918.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (659kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.026...
 
37


Abstract

Desmanthus (Desmanthus spp.), a tropically adapted pasture legume, is highly productive and has the potential to reduce methane emissions in beef cattle. However, liveweight gain response to desmanthus supplementation has been inconclusive in ruminants. This study aimed to evaluate weight gain, rumen fermentation and plasma metabolites of Australian tropical beef cattle in response to supplementation with incremental levels of desmanthus forage legume in isonitrogenous diets. Forty-eight Brahman, Charbray and Droughtmaster crossbred beef steers were pen-housed and fed a basal diet of Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay supplemented with 0, 15, 30 or 45% freshly chopped desmanthus forage on dry matter basis, for 140 days. Varying levels of lucerne (Medicago sativa) hay were added in the 0, 15 and 30% diets to ensure that all diets were isonitrogenous with the 45% desmanthus diet. Data were analyzed using the Mixed Model procedures of SAS software. Results showed that the proportion of desmanthus in the diet had no significant effect on steer liveweight, rumen volatile fatty acids molar proportions and plasma metabolites (P ≥ 0.067). Total bilirubin ranged between 3.0 and 3.6 μmol/L for all the diet treatments (P = 0.67). All plasma metabolites measured were within the expected normal range reported for beef cattle. Rumen ammonia nitrogen content was above the 10 mg/dl threshold required to maintain effective rumen microbial activity and maximize voluntary feed intake in cattle fed low-quality tropical forages. The average daily weight gains averaged 0.5 to 0.6 kg/day (P = 0.13) and were within the range required to meet the target slaughter weight for prime beef markets within 2.5 years of age. These results indicate that desmanthus alone or mixed with other high-quality legume forages can be used to supplement grass-based diets to improve tropical beef cattle production in northern Australia with no adverse effect on cattle health.

Item ID: 71121
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2022 Mwangi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.25903/5v97-fj22, https://doi.org/10.25903/cyy5-wt02
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2021 21:26
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300303 Animal nutrition @ 100%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1004 Livestock raising > 100401 Beef cattle @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 37
Last 12 Months: 26
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page