The effects of dietary pretreatment with fibrolytic enzyme-based cocktail were evaluated in 2 studies: (1) in vitro true digestibility; and (2) intake, digestibility, feeding behavior, and ruminal fermentation of beef steers fed growing diets. For the in vitro assessment, the ruminal inoculum was collected from 2 steers (BW = 543 ± 45 kg; 4-h after feeding; growing diets) and enzymes included or not (Trichoderma reesei fermentation extract; 0.75 μL/g of substrate DM). Within in vitro batches (n = 4), 12 substrates were incubated and in vitro true nutrient digestibility was evaluated. For study 2, 5 ruminally cannulated beef steers (BW = 520 ± 30 kg) were used in a 5 × 4 unbalanced Latin square using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments: (a) diet quality (high = HQ; and low = LQ) and (b) enzyme inclusion (0 or 0.75 mL/kg of diet DM). Steers were fed ad libitum during four 21-d periods consisting of 14-d of adaptation and 7-d of collections. An enzyme × substrate was observed (P < 0.01), in which DM, OM, and NDF disappearance of sorghum grain increased with enzymes addition. Addition of enzymes increased (P < 0.01) ADF digestibility for all substrates. No diet quality × enzyme (P ≥ 0.18) was observed for intake variables in study 2. Enzyme-fed steers increased (P ≤ 0.05) intake of DM, digestible DM, NDF, and ADF compared with steers not fed fibrolytic enzymes. Addition of enzyme did not affect (P ≥ 0.28) apparent total tract digestibility of beef steers. Steers fed HQ diets consumed more (P ≤ 0.04) DM, digestible DM and OM, and less (P ≤ 0.03) total and digestible fiber than steers fed LQ diets. Ruminal pH average decreased (P = 0.01) for steers fed HQ or enzyme-fed diets compared with other treatments. A tendency (P = 0.06) toward improved total VFA was observed on enzyme-fed steers with HQ diets, but not for LQ diets. The molar proportion of ruminal propionate increased (P = 0.01) when steers were fed enzyme. Steers fed HQ diets had greater (P < 0.01) propionate and valerate molar proportions, lower (P < 0.01) acetate and acetate:propionate ratio than steers fed LQ diets. In vitro methane and total gas production were not affected (P ≥ 0.50) by dietary treatments. Fibrolytic enzymes positively affected digestion of multiple roughage sources commonly fed to cattle and might have additional benefit when used on unprocessed sorghum grain. Fibrolytic enzymes in beef cattle growing diets stimulated intake and generated positive impacts on ruminal fermentation.
- feeding behavior
- growing diet