Variability among Animals and Incubation Protocols for Ruminant In Situ Degradation Studies with Tropical Feeds

Amanda de Souza Assunção, Tadeu Eder da Silva, Daiana Quirino, Marcia de Oliveira Franco, Edenio Detmann
2022 Animals  
Our objectives were to evaluate the variability among animals regarding to the degradation rate of the potentially degradable fraction of dry matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber, as well as to establish the minimum number of animals and provide a standardized design of sampling times for in situ ruminal degradation assays of tropical feeds with cattle. Seven feeds were evaluated, four concentrates and three forages. The incubations were performed using five rumen-cannulated
more » ... e heifers (328 ± 9.8 kg of body weight). The complete sets of incubation sampling times encompassed 16 time points for forage samples (0–240 h) and 13 time points for concentrate samples (0–144 h). The profiles were adjusted using both fixed and mixed model approaches. When the variation among animals on the degradation rate was considered using the mixed model approach, the precision of the adjusted degradation profiles was increased. Moreover, the utilization of a low number of animals increases the probability to obtain biased estimates of degradation rate and increased random variances. A minimum of three animals is recommended for in situ trials with cattle. Minimum designs of sampling times regarding number and position of incubation times were proposed, discussed, and recommended to assess the dynamics of tropical feed degradation.
doi:10.3390/ani12151901 pmid:35892551 pmcid:PMC9367396 fatcat:36epqx2os5e6bb44jfbiy5ncwi