Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Performance of finishing beef cattle fed diets containing maize silages inoculated with lactic-acid bacteria and Bacillus subtilis

Carlos H. S. Rabelo A B , André L. S. Valente A , Rondineli P. Barbero A , Fernanda C. Basso A and R. A. Reis A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A UNESP, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Department of Animal Sciences, 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil.

B Corresponding author. Email: carlos.zoo@hotmail.com

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16358
Submitted: 3 June 2016  Accepted: 25 October 2017   Published online: 5 January 2018

Abstract

Our objective was to evaluate the effect of lactic-acid bacteria and Bacillus subtilis as silage additives on feed intake and growth performance of finishing feedlot beef cattle. Whole-maize forage was ensiled either with distilled water (untreated), or inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage for each bacteria (LBLP); or inoculated with B. subtilis and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage for each bacteria (BSLP). Thirty-six young crossbreed bulls (316 ± 33.9 kg) were used in the feedlot program for 110 days, and they were assigned (n = 12) to one of three diets containing untreated, LBLP, or BSLP silages in a 40 : 60 forage : concentrate ratio. Dry matter (DM) intake, average daily gain, and carcass yield of bulls were unaffected by silage inoculation. Conversely, bulls fed the BSLP silage had lower DM, organic matter, and crude protein digestibility compared with bulls fed untreated silage. Bulls fed both inoculated silages had a reduction of ~12% in neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibility compared with that in bulls fed untreated silage. Bulls fed the LBLP silage spent more time chewing (496 min/day) than bulls fed untreated silage. There was little effect of silage inoculation on rumen fermentation, but bulls fed the inoculated silages had a lower concentration of ammonia-N. In conclusion, adding L. plantarum combined with L. buchneri or B. subtilis to maize silage do not improve the growth performance of finishing feedlot beef cattle.

Additional keywords: digestibility, ingestive behaviour, Lactobacillus spp., ruminal fermentation, silage inoculant, tropical silage.


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