Effect of Supplemental Fish Meal Protein on Site and Extent of Digestion in Beef Steers

Source: M. N. Streeter and M. J. Mathis
The effects of supplemental fish meal on site and extent of digestion were determined using four steers equipped with ruminal, duodenal, and ileal cannulas. Fish meal was included in diets to supply 0 (0FM), 25 (25FM), 50 (50FM), or 75 (75FM) g of N daily above the CP requirement of a 400-kg steer gaining 1.2 kg/d. Total tract starch digestibility tended to be greatest for 25FM (95%), lowest for 0FM (90%), and intermediate for 50FM (94%) and 75FM (92%). Total tract N digestibility was greatest for 25FM, lowest for 0FM, and intermediate for 50FM and 75FM (cubic, P < .05). Total tract starch digestibility increased .46 percentage units for each unit increase in N digestibility (n = 16, P = .03). Ruminal starch digestibility was greatest for 25FM, intermediate for 50FM and 75FM, and lowest for 0FM (quadratic; P < .10). Starch flow to the duodenum was decreased for 25FM and 50FM vs 0FM and 75FM (quadratic, P < .10) and N flow to the duodenum was increased (linear, P < .01) by fish meal. Fish meal supplementation increased N digestibility (quadratic, P < .05) but had no effect (P > .10) on starch digestibility in the small intestine. Starch digestibility in the small intestine was not related to N flow to the duodenum; however, starch digestibility increased .9 percentage units for each percentage unit increase in N digestibility (n = 16, P = .02). Fish meal supplementation tended to increase total tract starch digestibility by increasing ruminal, but not small intestinal, digestibility.