Assessment of corn wet distillers grains fed to crossbred bulls on feeding behavior, rumen morphology, liver abscesses and blood parameters

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Corn ethanol production has been growing in Brazil in the last ten years, generating by-products to feedlot diets. This study evaluates the effects of the inclusion of low-fat corn wet distillers grains (LF-WDG) on feeding behavior, ruminal health, liver abscesses and blood parameters of F1 Angus-Nellore bulls feedlot finished. Our hypothesis is that evaluation of data from feeding behavior, rumen and liver health would help to explain animal performance. In this trail, one-hundred animals were fed for 129 days with diets containing amounts of 0 (control), 15, 30 and 45% of LF-WDG replacing corn grain and soybean meal. Evaluations of fluctuation of dry matter intake (DMI) were carried out. Additionally, feeding behavior data were assessed by monitoring (24-h period) the feeding, rumination, time spent eating (TSE), and time expended on other activities (resting and number of meals per day). Blood variables such as pH, bicarbonate, total CO2 content, and base excess in extracellular fluid (Beecf) were determined. After slaughter, rumen epithelium was classified according to the incidence of lesions (rumenitis) and abnormalities (papillae clumped), and samples were collected for morphology and histology evaluations. Moreover, livers were scored for severity of abscesses as follow: as unabscessed (0), one or two small abscesses (A-), two to four small active abscesses (A) or one or more large, active abscesses (A+). The DMI (kg/day) differed (P = 0.03) among treatments and there is a tendency of 15 and 30 LF-WDG (% DM) had lower %DMI fluctuation compared to 0 or 45%. The TSE increased linearly (P < 0.01) as the amounts of inclusion of LF-WDG increased. Moreover, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake, NDF consumption rate and NDF rumination efficiency increased linearly (P < 0.01) in response to LF-WDG feeding. The incidence of rumenitis tended (P = 0.08) to be greater at 45% LF-WDG, while keratin thickness decreased linearly in bulls fed LF-WDG (P < 0.01). The severity of liver abscesses (score A+) increased linearly (P = 0.02). Regarding blood parameters, only Beecf decreased linearly (P < 0.01) in response to LF-WDG feeding. Therefore, the hypothesis of the current study was confirmed. We previous reported that F1 Angus-Nellore bulls fed LF-WDG show greater weight gain (1.94 ± 0.09 kg/day) and final body weight (620 ± 18.8 kg) when compare to control (1.8 ± 0.09 kg/day and 602 ± 18.8 kg, respectively). Here, we conclude that inclusion of 15 to 30% LF-WDG in feedlot diets improved feeding behavior without impairing ruminal health and blood parameters, driving performance and weigh gain of crossbred bulls. However, bulls fed 45% LF-WDG had greater severity of liver abscesses.





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PLoS ONE, v. 17, n. 8 August, 2022.

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