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Feed Processing, and Increasing Forage Utilization Through Protein Supplementation


Rumen bacteria are responsible for digesting feed. ... et al. (1999) reported that maceration, an intensive forage conditioning process ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Feed Processing, and Increasing Forage Utilization Through Protein Supplementation

Feed Processing, and Increasing Forage
Utilization Through Protein Supplementation
  • Francis L. Fluharty, Ph.D.
  • Department of Animal Sciences
  • The Ohio State University
  • Wooster, Ohio

Ruminant Nutrition Basics
  • Rumen bacteria are responsible for digesting
  • Rumen bacteria digest feed by attaching to the
    feed particles and releasing enzymes.
  • Increasing the surface area of feed increases the
    rate of digestion by allowing more bacteria to
  • With a forage-based diet, there are approximately
    1 to 3 billion bacteria per ml of rumen contents.
  • With a grain-based diet, there are approximately
    8 to 10 billion bacteria per ml of rumen contents.

Rumen Contents Average 88 Water
Healthy Papillae
Reticulum and Omasum
Omasum and Abomasum
Understanding How Nutrients are Used Hierarchy
of Nutrient Use
  • Maintenance
  • Development
  • Growth
  • Lactation
  • Reproduction
  • Fattening

Forage Particle Size Affects a Ruminants
Maintenance Energy Requirements
  • Visceral organs increase in weight as total feed
    intake, diet forage content, or particle size of
    the forage increases.
  • Maintaining visceral organs requires 40 to 50 of
    an animals daily energy intake, and 30 to 40 of
    an animals daily protein intake with a forage
    based diet.
  • Decreasing organ weight results in improved feed
    efficiency and reduces nutrient requirements.

Effect of Temperature on DMI, Maintenance Energy
and Intake
59 - 77F
Rate of Passage Through the Rumen
  • Liquid
  • 4 10 / hour (1 to 1.7 times per day)
  • Solids
  • Concentrate (grain) particles
  • 2 7 / hour (.5 to 1.7 times per day)
  • Roughage (forage) particles
  • 1 6 / hour (.25 to 1.5 times per day)

Rate of Passage Through the Rumen is Affected by
  • Level of feed intake
  • Higher feed intake increases rate of passage.
  • 2. Feed particle size
  • Smaller feed particles have a faster rate of
  • ForageConcentrate Ratio
  • Liquid rate of passage is faster with a higher
    percentage of dietary fiber due to increased
    re-mastication and re-swallowing (ruminating).

Why Do We Process Forage?
  • Ruminant animals in grazing situations need to
    maximize forage digestion in order to meet their
    energy and protein requirements.
  • Factors that limit the animals ability to meet
    their requirements include forage species,
    maturity, lignin concentration, and the ruminal
    ammonia requirements of cellulose digesting
    bacterial species.
  • Unlike grain-based diets, there is a time period,
    referred to as the lag phase, required for
    cellulose digesting bacteria to attach to forage
    particles, and the energy available is directly
    related to surface area.

Why Do We Process Forage?
  • More complete digestion by rumen bacteria due to
    more surface area for attachment.
  • More surface area for enzymatic digestion in the
    small intestine.
  • Higher levels of feed intake with forage based
  • Better fermentation with ensiled feeds due to
    less air space between particles.

Why Do We Process Forage?
  • Better flow of materials through feed conveyors.
  • Better mixing of the diet that results in less
    separation in the feed bunk.

Problems Associated with Processing Forages
  • Increased production costs.
  • Dust and loss of leaf protein.

Forage Processing
  • Digestibility is qualitative, referring to the
    susceptibility to degradation. In contrast,
    digestion refers to the extent of degradation.
  • Ruminal fiber digestion is a function of the rate
    of digestion of the forage and the rate of
    passage of the forage particles from the rumen.
  • From a practical standpoint with unprocessed
    forages, the large particle size of mature forage
    reduces the energy available to the animal.

Forage Processing
  • For digestion to occur, the microorganisms in the
    rumen must first be associated with the forage,
    and then attach to the forage.
  • Digestion normally occurs from the inside of the
    forage to the outer layers.
  • Limitations to the speed at which this occurs
    include the physical and chemical properties of
    the forage, the moisture level of the forage,
    time for penetration of the waxes and cuticle
    layer, and the extent of lignification (Varga and
    Kolver, 1997).

Forage Processing
  • Undigested feed is broken down through the
    process of rumination and re-chewing until it is
    either digested, or small enough to pass from the
    reticulo-omasal orifice.
  • Most particles leaving the rumen are smaller than
    1mm, although particles as large as 5 cm may
    leave the rumen (Welch, 1986).
  • It is, therefore, not hard to understand how
    reducing the large particle size of many mature
    forages to 1mm to 5 cm can increase maintenance
    energy expenditures due to an increase in
    visceral organ mass and the energy expenditure of
    rumination and re-chewing.

Forage Processing
  • The conversion of fibrous forages to meat and
    milk is not efficient, with only 10 to 35 of the
    energy intake being captured as net energy to the
    animal, because 20 to 70 of the cellulose may
    not be digested (Varga and Kolver, 1997).
  • Research conducted at The Ohio State University
    found that steers fed a chopped hay based diet
    gained 2.5 lbs/day while those fed round baled
    hay (same hay source) in a rack gained less than
    1.5 lbs/day.
  • (Source http//beef.osu.edu/library/AltFeedSuplo

Forage Processing
  • Williams et al. (1995) harvested wheat forage
    with a mower conditioner, at an early head stage
    of maturity, and allowed it to wilt for either 0,
    6 or 20 hours prior to being cut with a forage
    chopper and ensiled.
  • They reported that wilting for 20 hours resulted
    in lower fermentation acids, a higher
    concentration of water-soluble carbohydrates, and
    improved fiber digestibility compared with either
    direct-cut or wilting for 6 hours.

Forage Processing
  • Hintz et al. (1999) reported that maceration, an
    intensive forage conditioning process that shreds
    forage thus reducing rigidity and increases field
    drying rates by as much as 300 by disrupting the
    waxy cuticle layer of the plant and breaking open
    the stem, resulted in an increase in surface area
    available for microbial attachment in the rumen.
  • Results were a decreased lag time associated
    with NDF digestion, an increase in NDF digestion,
    and a decrease in the acetatepropionate ratio,
    which would be positive for growing and finishing

Forage Processing
  • If corn is 5.04 per bushel, it is .09 per
    pound. Likewise, if dried corn gluten feed or
    distillers dried grains are 180 per ton, they
    are .09 per pound. If hay is 180 per ton, it
    is .09 per pound.
  • Normally, the digestibility of corn, corn gluten
    feed, and distillers dried grains are all much
    higher than even the highest quality hay.
  • Therefore, in order for forages to be
    economically competitive, they must be managed,
    harvested, and potentially processed to their
    optimum digestibility.

Think in Terms of OPTIONS
Ground Corn Stalks
Distillers Grains
Think in Terms of OPTIONS
  • As Fed / Mixed Basis 68 WDG, 24 wheat flour,
    and 8 wheat straw. Final moisture is around
    52. On a DMB it is about 45 DDG, 41 flour,
    14 straw

Ruminal Protein Degradation The Basics
Proteins are made from Amino Acids
(No Transcript)
Protein Functions in the Body
  • Cell membranes in muscle, nerves, hair, skin
  • Blood serum protein
  • Enzymes
  • Hormones
  • Antibodies
  • Muscle

Protein Is Needed For
  • Nitrogen for microbial fermentation in the rumen.
  • Protein degraded in the rumen provides NH3 that
    the bacteria use to grow.
  • Microbial protein typically provides about half
    of the amino acids needed by the animal.
  • Post-ruminal amino acids supplied to the small
    intestine and absorbed for use by the animal.

All Feed Proteins Degraded in the Rumen Become
  • Ammonia NH3
  • O
  • Urea H2N C NH2

Ruminal Protein and Fiber Degradation
  • Ruminant animals in grazing situations need to
    maximize forage digestion in order to increase
    performance parameters such as average daily gain
    or milk production.
  • Degradable intake protein (DIP) has been reported
    to be the first-limiting nutrient for beef cattle
    grazing low-quality forages (Köster et al., 1996
    Olson et al., 1999 Bandyk et al., 2001).

Ruminal Protein and Fiber Degradation
  • Cellulolytic bacteria prefer ammonia (NH3) as
    their N source (Russell et al., 1992), so
    substituting NPN for a portion of the degradable
    true protein in supplements for range cows should
    be a viable option (Köster et al., 2002).
  • However, when DIP sources of protein are fed, the
    profile of amino acids entering the small
    intestine closely resembles microbial protein,
    and amino acids that are limiting in bacterial
    protein will probably be limiting to the
    ruminant's production capability (Willms et al.,

Ruminal Protein and Fiber Degradation
  • In production situations where energy is
    limiting, either because of relatively
    low-quality forage or in production situations
    where there is reduced dry matter intake,
    microbial protein reaching the small intestine
    may be insufficient to maximize animal growth,
    and ruminally undegradable intake proteins (UIP,
    or bypass protein) may be warranted, (Firkins and
    Fluharty, 2000).
  • This is because if energy and protein are
    limiting, there is a reduction in both the number
    of bacteria and the growth rate of bacteria,
    which results in a reduction in the amount of
    ruminal NH3N that can be used for protein
    synthesis (Satter and Roffler, 1975).

Ruminal Protein and Fiber Degradation
  • Feeding combinations of ruminally available (DIP)
    protein sources such as urea or soybean meal
    (SBM) are commonly used in combination with UIP
    sources that mostly bypass rumen degradation but
    are available for enzymatic degradation in the
    small intestine if not over-heated during drying.
    Common sources of UIP include corn gluten meal
    (CGM), distillers grains (DG), feather meal
    (Fth), or fish meal (FM).

Bypass Protein
  • Protein that escapes degradation in the rumen,
    which is then digested in the abomasum and small
    intestine and absorbed as amino acids in the
    small intestine.
  • The two sources of bypass protein are undigested
    intake protein (UIP) and rumen microbial protein
    from bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.

Low Bypass Proteins (Under 40 Bypass)
  • Soybean meal, 20 30 on forage diet
  • Peanut meal
  • Urea, 0 bypass

Medium Bypass Proteins (40 60 Bypass)
  • Soybean meal, 40 bypass with high- concentrate
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Dehydrated alfalfa meal
  • Corn grain
  • Brewers dried grains
  • Distillers Grains

High Bypass Proteins (Greater than 60 Bypass)
  • Corn gluten meal, 85 bypass
  • Blood meal, 82 92 bypass
  • Fish meal, 68 bypass

Non-enzymatic Browning (Maillard Reaction) HEAT
  • In the presence of heat and water (such as occurs
    in the processing of all the plant and animal
    products from which we get protein supplements),
    the carboxyl group (COOH) of a sugar is bound to
    the free amino end of lysine.
  • If the heat is not excessive, this bond is broken
    in the acidic conditions of the abomasum, and the
    amino acids are available in the small intestine
    (bypass protein).
  • If the heat is excessive, an artificial,
    indigestible polymer is formed (heat damaged

Heat Damage Varies With Time and Temperature
Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • O
  • Urea H2N C NH2
  • Urea has a protein equivalent of 287 protein
    equivalents on a dry matter basis (NRC, 1996).
  • Low rumen pH reduces absorption of ammonia to the
    blood, and reduces the incidence of ammonia
  • When urea is fed, Sulfur (S), Potassium (K), and
    Phosphorus (P) must be supplemented.

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • Urea is used to
  • 1. Increase diet organic matter digestion
  • (Classic example is urea treatment of straw.)
  • 2. Increase microbial protein synthesis
  • Two Possible Problems with urea at high intakes
  • 1. Ammonia Toxicity
  • 2. Reduced Feed Intake
  • Never Exceed Either of These Levels with Urea
  • 1. 1 of the diet dry matter
  • 2. 1/3 of the total dietary protein

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • Williams et al. (1969) and Rush et al. (1976)
    reported reduced performance in cattle receiving
    NPN-based supplements compared with cattle
    receiving true-protein supplements. However, in
    those studies, NPN was a high proportion of the
    total supplemental N.
  • The basal diets that Williams et al. (1969) used
    contained 4 or 12.1 urea.
  • Rush et al. (1976) fed 30 protein supplements,
    based on molasses, with half of the CP coming
    from NPN.

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • However, not all studies with NPN give the same
    results. In another series of studies, urea or
    biuret provided 50 of the nitrogen in 30 CP dry
    supplements, or urea provided 94 of the nitrogen
    in 30 CP liquid supplements with molasses. In
    these studies, cow winter weight loss, cow summer
    weight gain, and calf performance were not
    different (P gt .50) for cows fed natural protein
    or liquid supplements (Rush and Totusek, 1976).

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • Hersom (2007) suggested that the improvement in
    performance which occurs with the addition of
    protein to diets of ruminants being fed
    low-quality forage occurs due to a correcting of
    a protein/N deficiency in the diet, resulting in
    a better synchronization of the supply of energy
    and protein in the rumen, and in many cases
    occurs regardless of the source of protein,
    although increasing the proportion of natural
    protein often improves animal performance.

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • Currier et al. (2004) used cows in the last third
    of gestation to compare the difference between
    urea at 5.2 of supplement DM or biuret at 6.1
    of supplement DM in diets where NPN provided 90
    of the estimated DIP requirement.
  • Supplements were fed at .04 of the cows body
    weight per day, or roughly .5 lb/d for a 1250
    pound cow.
  • Both NPN sources resulted in greater positive
    weight and body condition score (BCS) changes
    compared with the control group, and calf birth
    weight was not affected by NPN supplementation.
    The authors concluded that ruminants consuming
    low-quality forage can effectively use
    supplemental NPN to maintain nitrogen status and
    performance in both hand-fed and self-fed

Urea or Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) The Most
Misunderstood Protein Supplement
  • Köster et al. (2002) suggests that urea could
    replace between 20 and 40 of the DIP in
    high-protein supplements, containing 30 protein,
    without significantly altering supplement
    palatability or cow and calf performance.

In Summary
  • Increasing the surface area for bacterial
    attachment increases both the rate and efficiency
    of microbial degradation of forages.
  • Supplying combinations of DIP and UIP could best
    meet the animal's amino acid requirement through
    maximizing microbial growth and cellulose
    digestion, as well as providing amino acids from
    both microbial and feed origin to the small
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