Effects of glycerin on receiving performance and health status of beef steers and nutrient digestibility and rumen fermentation characteristics of growing steers

K. E. Hales, K. J. Kraich, R. G. Bondurant, B. E. Meyer, M. K. Luebbe, M. S. Brown, N. A. Cole, J. C. MacDonald

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One experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of glycerin (GLY) on animal performance and health when used as a partial replacement for roughage in receiving diets. The second experiment was conducted using ruminally and duodenally cannulated steers in a 4 × 4 Latin square to determine the site of nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation characteristics when GLY replaced roughage at 0%, 2.5%, 5%, and 10% of diet DM. In Exp. 1, steers (initial BW = 245 ± 2.3 kg) were fed treatment diets over a 42-d period that consisted of a control diet based on steam-flaked corn with GLY inclusion in replacement of dietary roughage at 0%, 5%, and 10% of diet DM. A linear reduction in DMI was observed as GLY increased (P = 0.01). Glycerin incorporation tended to improve G:F in a linear manner (P = 0.07); efficiency was improved 5.4% and 4.7% at 5% and 10% GLY. The number of animals receiving treatment for bovine respiratory disease did not differ among treatments. Furthermore, there were no differences among treatments for mortality or the frequency of steers that were seropositive for serum antibody titers to infectious bovine rhinotracheitis on d 28. In Exp. 2, apparent OM and apparent and true starch digestibility increased linearly (P < 0.05) as GLY concentration increased, whereas true OM digestibility responded in a quadratic (P < 0.01) manner. Bacterial OM and bacterial starch flow responded quadratically (P ≤ 0.02), and flow increased from 0% to 5% GLY inclusion and decreased thereafter. Feed OM flow responded quadratically (P ≤ 0.05), where it decreased from 0% to 2.5% GLY and increased from 2.5% to 10% GLY inclusion. Feed starch (P = 0.02) and total starch (P = 0.02) flow from the duodenum decreased linearly as the concentration of GLY increased in the diet. Bacterial N flow to the duodenum responded quadratically (P < 0.01); it increased with increasing GLY in the diet up to 5% and then decreased from 5% to 10%. The acetate to propionate (A:P) ratio in the ruminal fluid decreased (P < 0.05) as the concentration of GLY in the diet increased, which could have implications on improved G:F. The decrease in the A:P ratio as GLY increased in the diet, coupled with the linear decrease in DMI and improvement in G:F with GLY addition up to 5% of DM in place of roughage, implies that GLY is a viable dietary ingredient in growing and receiving diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4277-4289
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Glycerin
  • Receiving cattle
  • Ruminal fermentation
  • Volatile fatty acid


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