Current Research

Determining the minimum fibre requirement for feedlot cattle

What is this project about?

This study is a cluster project with partners at the University of Saskatchewan, University of Lethbridge (AB) and University of Guelph. This specific part of the project is investigating the interaction between undigestible NDF (uNDF) levels and grain fermentability (GF) on animal performance, feeding behaviour and ruminal pH.

Importance: current nutritional formulations include forage inclusion without considering that not all forages are equal in terms of effectiveness or digestibility. It is important to consider the digestibility of the fibre, or the amount of uNDF240 in the fibre to ensure optimal growth and performance. When there is increased uNDF, there will be increased rumen mixing allowing for more absorption potential, ultimately aiding in regulating rumen pH. We will also be investigating the effects of grain source/ fermentability level and its relationship with uNDF where we are expecting to see that as the grain source becomes increasingly processed (more rumenally fermentable), more uNDF in the diet will be required.

Graduate students:

Amber Zupan

Non-Guelph researchers on the project:

Dr Gregory Penner (University of Saskatchewan)

Megan VanSchaik (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs)

Funding sources:

Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada


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