Slow-Release Urea as a Sustainable Alternative to Soybean Meal in Ruminant Nutrition
Salami, Saheed A.
Keegan, Jason D.
Moran, Colom A.
Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using a commercial slow-release urea product (SRU; Optigen®, Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY, USA) as a partial replacement for vegetable protein sources in cattle diets. The first experiment was an in vitro rumen fermentation that evaluated the effect of replacing soybean meal (SBM) nitrogen with nitrogen from either SRU or free urea in diets varying in forage:concentrate ratios. The second experiment examined the effect of replacing SBM with SRU on in situ dry matter and nitrogen degradability in the rumen. In the third experiment, a feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of replacing SBM (0% as-fed SRU) with 1% or 3% as-fed SRU on feed carbon footprint (CFP; total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the life cycle of feed raw materials) and the toxicity potential of SRU in growing beef cattle. Results showed that replacing SBM with SRU up to 1.3% did not negatively affect in vitro rumen fermentation parameters. Supplementing SRU favourably decreased ruminal accumulation of ammonia and lactic acid when compared to free urea. There was no significant effect on effective rumen degradability of dry matter and nitrogen when one-third of SBM was replaced by SRU in the in situ study. Compared with the 0% SRU diet, feed CFP decreased by 18% and 54% in 1% SRU and 3% SRU diets, respectively. Additionally, feeding up to 3% SRU diet to beef cattle did not affect health and intake, and blood hematological and biochemical indices were within the physiological range for healthy bulls, suggesting no indication of ammonia toxicity. Overall, these results indicate that SRU can be used as a sustainable alternative to partially replace vegetable protein sources in ruminant diets without compromising rumen function and health of ruminants.
619 - Veterinària
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Salami, Saheed A., Maria Devant, Juha Apajalahti, Vaughn Holder, Sini Salomaa, Jason D. Keegan, and Colm A. Moran. 2021. "Slow-Release Urea As A Sustainable Alternative To Soybean Meal In Ruminant Nutrition". Sustainability 13 (5): 2464. doi:10.3390/su13052464.
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