Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Effect of ensiling time on apparent total tract starch digestibility in Southern Brazilian dairy herds

Michelotti, Tainara Cristina de AbreuSilva, Ricardo Antonio daCarneiro, Jorge HenriqueNavarro, Rodrigo BarrosCarvalho, Igor Quirrenbach dePaula, Eduardo Marostegan deFerraretto, Luiz FelipeCaetano, MarianaLanna, Dante Pazzanese DuarteAlmeida, Rodrigo de

Ensiling corn for longer periods is a strategy used to increase rumen bacteria access to starch. In fact, when corn is ensiled for insufficient periods, starch digestibility decreases, as evidenced by excreted starch. This study investigates the effects of corn silage ensiling time on starch digestibility of dairy cows through fecal starch analysis. The trial was conducted during the spring of 2013 and the fall of 2014 on twenty dairy herds located in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. Total mixed ration (TMR), whole-plant corn silage (WPCS) and fecal samples were collected for determination of dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), lignin and starch. Apparent total tract starch digestibility (ATTSD) was calculated using equations developed by Fredin et al. (2014) and Bal et al. (1997). Data were analyzed using the CORR, REG and GLM procedures of SAS. Spring and fall WPCS were ensiled for 260 and 132 days, respectively (p < 0.01). There was no difference (p > 0.05) in ATTSD-Fredin from season to season though there was a trend (p = 0.11) towards greater ATTSD-Bal for spring samples. ATTSD-Bal was positively correlated with ensiling days (r = 0.31). Starch digestibility was not negatively affected by WPCS harvesting maturity. Differences in post-ruminal starch digestion, variation between farms in DM intake and diets, limitations of the equations, influence of uncontrolled factors, and the small number of experimental units might have contributed to the absence of significant results. Overall, Bal et al. (1997) equation was more efficient in distinguishing ATTSD from different ensiling periods.(AU)

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