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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Ruminally undegradable protein content and digestibility for forages using the mobile bag in situ technique1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2812-2822
    Received: Oct 12, 2012
    Accepted: Feb 21, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. C. D. Buckner,
  2. T. J. Klopfenstein 2,
  3. K. M. Rolfe,
  4. W. A. Griffin,
  5. M. J. Lamothe,
  6. A. K. Watson,
  7. J. C. MacDonald,
  8. W. H. Schacht and
  9. P. Schroeder
  1. Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 68583-0908


Four experiments were conducted to evaluate RUP content and digestibility for smooth bromegrass, subirrigated meadow, upland native range, and warm-season grasses. Samples were collected from esophageally cannulated cows or ruminally cannulated steers. Forages were ruminally incubated in in situ bags for durations of time based on 75% of total mean retention time, which was based on IVDMD and rate of passage calculations. One-half of the bags were duodenally incubated and excreted in the feces, and NDIN was analyzed on all bags for RUP calculations. Crude protein was numerically greater early in the growing cycle for grasses compared with later as grasses matured (P ≤ 0.32). The RUP was 13.3%, 13.3%, and 19.7% of CP for smooth bromegrass, subirrigated meadow, and upland native range, respectively. These values tended to be lower early in the growth cycle and increased (linear P ≤ 0.13) as forages matured for warm-season grasses and subirrigated meadows. Because both CP and RUP content change throughout the growing season, expressing RUP as a percentage of DM gives more consistent averages compared with RUP as a percentage of CP. Coefficient of variation values for RUP as a percentage of DM averaged 0.21 over all 4 experiments compared with 0.26 for RUP as a percentage of CP. Average RUP as a percentage of DM was 2.03%, 1.53%, and 1.94% for smooth bromegrass, subirrigated meadow, and upland native range, respectively. Total tract indigestible protein (TTIDP) linearly increased with maturity for subirrigated meadow samples (P < 0.01). A quadratic response (P ≤ 0.06) for TTIDP was observed in smooth bromegrass and warm-season grass samples. Digestibility of RUP varied considerably, ranging from 25% to 60%. Subirrigated meadow, native range, and smooth bromegrass samples tended to have linear decreases (P ≤ 0.11) in RUP digestibility throughout the growing season. The amount of digested RUP was fairly consistent across experiments and averages for smooth bromegrass, subirrigated meadow, and upland native range were 0.92%, 0.64%, and 0.49% of DM, respectively. Warm-season grasses in Exp. 2 had greater RUP (4.31% of DM) and amount of RUP digested (2.26% of DM), possibly because of cattle selecting for leadplant that contains more CP than the grasses. Forages can vary in CP, RUP, TTIDP, and RUP digestibility depending on the forage type, year, and time within year, but RUP digestibility is likely less than what previous sources have reported.

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Copyright © 2013. American Society of Animal Science