NUTRITION: Original Research| Volume 37, ISSUE 5, P552-558, October 2021

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Docusate supplementation affects feed intake and digestion of cattle



      The effects of docusate (DOC) supplementation on feed intake and digestion of cattle were studied.

      Materials and Methods

      Four Simmental × Xinjiang Brown nonpregnant female cattle, with a BW of 248.9 ± 9.4 kg and a permanent rumen cannula, were assigned to 4 treatments: dietary supplementation of DOC at 0 (the control), 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 g/kg of DM diet in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Each period consisted of 16 d for adaptation followed by 6 d for sample collection (feed, feces, and mixture of feces + urine) and measurements. All animals were fed individually with the same basal diet.

      Results and Discussion

      Supplementation with DOC had a quadratic effect on voluntary feed intake (VFI); VFA concentration in rumen fluid; amounts of digested nutrients; and the retention of nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) compared with the control. The highest increment values were 39.5% for VFI, 14.9% for VFA, and 9.1% for N retention at a DOC dose of 1.2 g/kg of diet. The ruminal ammonia concentration declined linearly with increasing DOC dose. Docusate supplementation decreased, in a quadratic manner, the digestibility of dietary components, likely due to the increased VFI. It was concluded that DOC fed at 1.2 g/kg of diet stimulated VFI and digestion in cattle.

      Implications and Applications

      Supplementation with DOC at the appropriate dose can stimulate feed intake and digestion in cattle, and DOC could be used as a feed additive for ruminants.

      Key words

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