Relationship of rumen fluid dilution rate to rumen fermentation and dietary characteristics of beef steers.

R. E. Estell, M. L. Galyean

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18 Scopus citations


Data from seven beef steer trials were compiled and regression analyses used to evaluate relationships among molar proportions of acetate (Ac), propionate (Pr) and butyrate (Bu), total concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFA), rumen ammonia (NH3), rumen pH, rumen fluid dilution rate (FDR), rumen fluid volume (FVOL), body weight (WT), dry matter intake (DMI) and dietary concentration and intake of crude protein (CP and CPI), acid detergent fiber (ADF and ADFI), ash (ASH and ASHI) and metabolizable energy (ME and MEI). Of the six fermentation variables, Pr (negative regression coefficient, beta) and pH (positive beta) were related (P less than .05) to FDR, but only 3 and 12% of the variation in these two variables, respectively, was explained by FDR. When FDR was described by dietary characteristics, ASHI was positively related to FDR (R2 = .16). The best two-variable model for FDR contained DMI (positive beta) and WT (negative beta) and increased R2 to .36. Fluid volume was best described by ME (positive beta; R2 = .20). The two-variable model for FVOL added ASH with a positive partial beta (R2 = .23). When fermentation variables were regressed on dietary characteristics, Ac was best described by ADF (positive beta; R2 = .71). The variable that best described Pr proportion was ADF (negative beta; R2 = .50), and addition of CP (negative beta) and MEI (positive beta) into the Pr model improved R2 to .70. Molar proportion of butyrate was related to CP (positive beta; R2 = .23), and addition of ME (positive beta) to the model improved the R2 to .31. Total VFA concentration was best described by ADFI (positive beta; R2 = .14). An R2 of .29 resulted when ME (positive beta) and CPI (negative beta) were included in the total VFA model. Rumen pH was related to ADF (positive beta; R2 = .45), and addition of CP (positive beta) to the rumen pH model increased R2 to .55. Crude protein concentration was related to ruminal NH3 level (positive beta; R2 = .42), and inclusion of ADFI (positive beta) into the model improved the R2 to .47.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1071
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985


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