Effects of slow-release urea on in vitro rumen fermentation parameters, growth performance, nutrient digestibility and serum metabolites of beef cattle

Huan Liang, Erlong Zhao, Chunyan Feng, Jianfei Wang, Lanjiao Xu, Zengmin Li, Shitang Yang, Yu Ge, Lizhi Li, Mingren Qu


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of slow-release urea (SRU) on in vitro rumen fermentation parameters, growth performances, nutrient digestibility, and serum metabolites of beef cattle. The single factor design was applied in both experiments. Three diets with different nitrogen sources including soybean meal (Control group), slow-release urea (SRU group), and common urea (Urea group) was designed (concentrate to forage ratio was 4:6). The diets were formulated to be isoenergetic and isonitrogenous, 75% of the soybean meal in the control diet was replaced by 1.41% SRU and 1.15% urea in SRU group and Urea group, respectively. In experiment 1, five healthy Jinjiang cattle (average body weight (BW) was 380 ± 17.1 kg) with permanent rumen fistulas were used in in vitro ruminal fermentation experiment. The results showed that supplementing SRU increased the dry matter degradation rate (DMD), digestible organic matter (DOM) and propionic acid concentration in cultivated fluid, and SRU supplementation decreased pH, NH3-N, total volatile fatty acid (TVFA), acetic acid, butyric acid concentration and microbial growth efficiency (MOEFF) in cultivated fluid. In experiment 2, eighteen Simmental crossbred cattle BW= 315 ± 5.2 kg) were stratified by BW and then assigned to the three groups to have equal BW among groups. The results showed that supplementing SRU reduced the average dry matter intake (ADMI), apparent digestibility of ether extract (EE), the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), the levels of IgG and IgA, and the production of thiiodothronine (T3) in serum, SRU supplementation increased the apparent digestibility of dry matter and organic matter (OM) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) concentration in serum. These results indicated that some soybean meal could be replaced by SRU and urea in the production of beef cattle. In addition, compared with urea, SRU had a good sustained-release effect. The replacement of some soybean meal by SRU in the diet had no adverse impact on rumen fermentation, growth performance, and serum metabolites of beef cattle.


Beef cattle; Slow-release urea; Ruminal fermentation; Growth performance; Serum metabolites.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2020v41n4p1349

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
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