Apr 20, 2020

Digestive parameters during gestation of Holstein heifers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. M. V. PereiraPolyana Rotta

Abstract

Our objective was to estimate nutrient intake, ruminal flow, total apparent and ruminal digestibility, rates of passage and digestion, ruminal and omasal pH, blood metabolite concentrations, and body measurements during gestation of Holstein heifers. Eleven pregnant Holstein heifers, 8 of which fitted with a rumen cannula (450 {+/-} 27.6 kg of body weight and 20 {+/-} 3.5 months of initial age) were used. All heifers received the same diet composed of corn silage, soybean meal, corn meal, minerals and vitamins, with a corn silage:concentrate ratio of 50:50 (on a dry matter basis), aiming an average daily gain of approximately 1.0 kg. The sampling periods were established according to the days of gestation: 145, 200, and 255 with a duration of 10 days per period. Total fecal samples were collected to estimate dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber digestibility. Blood samples were collected to analyze metabolites (non-esterified fatty acids, {beta}-hydroxybutyrate, urea, and glucose). Data were analyzed as a repeated measurements scheme, using MIXED procedure, with differences declared when P < 0.05. Dry matter intake expressed in kg/day increased from d-145 to d-200, and remaining stable until d-...Continue Reading

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