Short Communication: Ruminal pH profile and feeding behaviour of feedlot cattle transitioning from a high-forage to a high-concentrate diet.

Holtshausen, L., Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S.G., and Beauchemin, K.A. (2013). "Short Communication: Ruminal pH profile and feeding behaviour of feedlot cattle transitioning from a high-forage to a high-concentrate diet.", Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 93, pp. 529-533. doi : 10.4141/CJAS2013-073  Access to full text

Abstract

Sixteen ruminally cannulated cattle (384±33.9 kg) were transitioned from a high-forage to a finishing diet over 21 d using three steps (+15% concentrate DM wk1). Following the initiation of each transition step, mean daily ruminal pH declined and DM intake, meal size and meal duration were reduced. Recovery time to baseline feeding behaviour increased with severity of acidosis. Changes in feeding behaviour can be indicative of sub-optimal ruminal pH conditions during dietary transition. Transition protocols such as more steps, smaller grain increments or shorter initial and longer final steps may aid in reducing the incidence of acidosis.

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