Impact of source of sulfur on ruminal hydrogen sulfide and logic for the ruminal available sulfur for reduction concept

J. O. Sarturi, G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein, K. M. Rolfe, C. D. Buckner, M. K. Luebbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Effects of organic and inorganic sources of S on intake, intake pattern, ruminal pH, VFA profile, and ruminal H2S gas concentration ([H2S]) were evaluated, which lead to development of a procedure to measure ruminal S availability for reduction [ruminal available S (RAS)] as well as compare with an estimated number [adjusted ruminal protein S (ARPS)]. Ruminally cannulated crossbred beef steers (n = 5; BW = 548 ± 46 kg) were assigned to 1 of 5 diets in a 5×5 Latin square design and fed ad libitum in fve 21-d periods. Steers were fed a dry-rolled corn diet (CON), inorganic S source (ammonium sulfate; INORG), organic S source (corn gluten meal) fed at 9.8 (ORG-L) or 23% of diet DM (ORG-H), or wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) fed at 50% of diet DM. For the laboratory procedure, individual ingredients were incubated with ruminal fluid from heifers fed 60% corn-based diets (n = 2) and McDougall's buffer. Bottles were cooled in ice, centrifuged, and decanted, and the precipitate was analyzed for S. Steers fed INORG tended (P = 0.12) to consume 12% less DM. Total S intake was greater (P < 0.01) for steers fed WDGS (60 g/d) followed by ORG-H, and the lowest S intake was observed for CON (22 g/d). Intakes of ARPS and RAS were greater (P < 0.01) for steers fed WDGS followed by INORG, ORG-H, ORG-L, and CON diets. Steers fed WDGS and INORG diets spent 13% more time eating (P < 0.01) compared with other treatments. There was an interaction (P = 0.05) between treatment and time for ruminal [H2S]. Similar [H2S] were observed for steers fed INORG and WDGS diets (P = 0.28), which were greater (P ≤ 0.05) than other treatments. Greater ruminal [H2S] at 8 h compared with 13 h postfeeding was observed for steers fed ORG-H, ORG-L, and CON diets (P ≤ 0.04). Nearly 65% of ruminal [H2S] variation was explained (linear; P < 0.01) by RAS intake, ARPS explained 58% (linear; P < 0.01), S intake explained 29% (quadratic; P < 0.01), average ruminal pH explained 12% (linear; P < 0.01), and area below ruminal pH 5.6 explained 16% (linear, P < 0.01) of the variation. A 6% decrease in acetate (P = 0.01), 20% increase in propionate molar proportions (P = 0.02), and a lower acetate:proprionate ratio (P = 0.02) were observed for steers fed INORG compared with CON diet. The RAS concept is important for predicting ruminal [H2S] rather than just total S in the diet. Coefficients of RAS for individual ingredients can be predicted using in vitro procedures. Ruminal [H2S] may also modulate intake pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3352-3359
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Distillers grains
  • Feedlot cattle
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Ruminal reduction
  • Sources
  • Sulfur


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