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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Decreasing the roughage:concentrate ratio of a diet to determine the critical roughage part for beef cattle.

The critical roughage part ( CRP) of 2 diet types was determined in a cross-over design with 6 double-muscled and 6 normally conformed Belgian Blue bulls fitted with rumen cannulae. The roughage:concentrate ratio was lowered weekly until signs of a lack of physical structure were observed. For diet 1, consisting of maize silage and concentrates, the initial proportion of maize silage was 25% of DM but it decreased weekly with 5% units of DM. For the second diet, consisting of wheat straw and concentrate, 12% straw (DM basis) was provided during the first week and thereafter the proportion of straw decreased weekly with 3% units of DM. Several directly observable parameters (rumen pH, feed intake, bloat, faecal consistency) were evaluated weekly for each bull. Apart from these direct indicators of acidosis, also other parameters, whose results were only available after the end of the trial, were determined (volatile fatty acid profile, lactic acid concentration, chewing time). The roughage part between the part fed when signs of a lack of physical structure was first observed and the part that was fed the week before, was considered as the CRP. Most animals showed no acute signs of clinical acidosis (directly observable parameters) and finished the trial on a 100% concentrate diet. However, in sacco rumen DM-degradabilities of maize silage, grass silage and wheat grain was depressed considerably when low roughage diets were fed. Based on all observed parameters, the mean CRP was calculated to be 14.7% for diet 1 and 8.1% for diet 2. The beef type (double-muscled or not) had no influence on the CRP.[1]


  1. Decreasing the roughage:concentrate ratio of a diet to determine the critical roughage part for beef cattle. De Campeneere, S., Fiems, L.O., De Boever, J.L., Vanacker, J.M., De Brabander, D.L. Archiv für Tierernährung. (2002) [Pubmed]
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