The objective of this study was to determine the early responses to a moderate concentrate increase in cattle diets with regards to various behavioral and physiological responses in cattle. Eight ruminally cannulated Angus crossbred beef heifers were adapted to a 70% concentrate diet (T70) and then switched to a 90% concentrate diet (H90). Measurements of feeding behavior, ruminal pH and temperature, rumen motility, liquid passage rate, and blood acid–base status were conducted on T70 as well as first day (d1) and second day (d2) of high-grain H90feeding to monitor the beginning of the transition period. Ruminal pH was below 5.6 for longer on both days of H90 compared with T70, suggesting animals experienced subacute ruminal acidosis while switching from T70 to H90. Transitioning did not affect dry matter intake (DMI). Eating rate during meals was reduced on d1 and d2 H90 compared with T70. Ruminal contraction amplitude was reduced on both days of H90 feeding. Contraction duration was reduced on d1 H90, and returned to T70 values by d2 H90. Results indicated that a moderate transition to a finishing diet influenced feeding behavior and reduced rumen motility at the beginning time after transition, but did not influence voluntary DMI.
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