Guadagnin, M., Tagliapietra, F., Cattani, M., Schiavon, S., Worgan, H. J., Belanche, A., Newbold, C. J. and Bailoni, L. 2013. Rumen fermentation and microbial yield of high- or low-protein diets containing ground soybean seeds or homemade rapeseed expellers evaluated with RUSITEC. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 93: 363-371. This experiment aimed to compare diets containing two crude protein (CP) concentrations [147 or 109 g kg-1 in dry matter (DM)] and two protein sources containing ground soybean seed (GSS) or rapeseed expeller (RSE). Diets were compared in terms of digestibility, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and ammonia concentrations, and N flows, using rumen simulation fermenters (RUSITEC). Home-made RSE (CP=287 g kg-1 dry matter and ether extract=199 g kg-1 DM) was produced using equipment adopted by small farms. Reduction of dietary CP content did not affect digestibility, except for a reduction of N apparent digestibility (P<0.01), but increased efficiency of N utilization (P=0.001) without affecting microbial N production (P=0.82). Total VFA concentration was not (P=0.56) influenced by CP content. Compared with GSS, RSE exhibited a greater neutral detergent fibre digestibility (P<0.01), it did not influence total volatile fatty acids (VFA; P=0.10) but decreased the proportions of acetate and propionate on total VFA (P<0.001) and increased those of butyrate and branched-chain VFA (P<0.001). Microbial efficiency was comparable for GSS and RSE. Results suggest that reduction of dietary CP concentration in DM did not impair in vitro digestibility and microbial growth. The protein mixture containing homemade RSE showed in vitro fermentative properties and microbial growth comparable with those of GSS.
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