Ruminal degradation kinetics, intake, digestibility, and feeding behavior of beef steers offered annual or perennial grass-hay with or without supplementation

Joel D. Sugg, Jhones O. Sarturi, Darren D. Henry, Francine M. Ciriaco, Charles P. West, Michael A. Ballou, Carly A. Hoffmann

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Effects of dried distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) on ruminal fermentation, degradation kinetics, and feeding behavior of steers offered annual (Eragrostis tef; TEFF) or perennial (Bothriochloa bladhii; OWB) grass hay were evaluated. Ruminally cannulated Angus crossbred steers (n = 6; body weight [BW] = 304 ?} 11 kg) were assigned to a 4 × 6 unbalanced Latin square design with four treatments arranged as a 2 × 2 factorial: hay type (OWB or TEFF) and DDGS supplementation (0% or 0.5% BW [dry matter {DM} basis]). Steers had ad libitum access to hay. Periods consisted of a 14-d adaptation followed by 7 d of collection. Residues from the in situ incubations (0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, and 96 h post-feeding) were fitted to a first-order kinetics model using the NLIN procedure of SAS. The DDGS decreased (P < 0.01) TEFF DM intake (DMI) by 11.3%, while not affecting DMI of OWB. The greatest DMI was observed for steers supplemented with DDGS, regardless of forage, and least in steers consuming OWB without DDGS (hay type × DDGS; P = 0.03). Non-supplemented steers spent more (P < 0.01) time eating hay. Digestibility of DM tended (P = 0.06) to increase with DDGS supplementation. A hay type × DDGS interaction was observed (P ≤ 0.05) on ruminal effective degradable fractions. The rate of degradation, soluble fraction, and the potentially degradable fraction of organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fiber, and acid detergent fiber (ADF) increased (P ≤ 0.05), while the undegradable fraction of all components decreased (P ≤ 0.01) when steers were offered TEFF compared to OWB. Ruminal DM, OM, and ADF degradation lag-time increased (P ≤ 0.02) in steers offered OWB. Ruminal degradation kinetics were not (P ≥ 0.17) independently affected by DDGS supplementation. Average ruminal pH of steers offered TEFF (P < 0.01) and those offered DDGS (P < 0.01) were lower than OWB and non-supplemented steers. Total concentration of VFA tended (P = 0.09) to increase when DDGS was provided with OWB, while decreasing when TEFF was offered. The acetate:propionate increased (P < 0.01) with DDGS supplementation due to a decrease (P = 0.03) in propionate. Ruminal NH3-N was greater (P = 0.03) in steers offered TEFF compared to OWB, and those supplemented with DDGS (P = 0.03). An annual, in place of a conventional, perennial hay improved intake and digestion of nutrients, without affecting feeding behavior. The supplementation with DDGS appears to affect forage intake, ruminal degradation, and feeding behavior, although not independent of forage quality. c The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberskab168
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • behavior
  • digestibility
  • dried distillers grains
  • hay
  • ruminal pH
  • teff


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