Comparison of digestibility, passage rate and rumen fermentation between sika deer (Cervus nippon) and cattle fed alfalfa hay cubes

Sanae Asano, Shoshichi Ikeda, Yuzo Kurokawa, Shuhei Kanda, Hisao Itabashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Five female sika deer and three male Holstein cattle were offered alfalfa hay cubes at 2% (deer) and 2.5% (cattle) of body-weight, respectively. The passage rate through the digestive tract, digestibility and rumen fermentation of the animals were determined. The rate of ruminal passage was higher and the total mean retention time in the digestive tract was shorter in deer than in cattle. In addition, the rate of post-ruminal passage in deer was lower. The digestibilities of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein and fiber in deer were significantly lower than in cattle (P < 0.05). The concentration of total volatile fatty acids in the rumen was significantly higher in deer than in cattle. The molar percentage of acetic acid was lower and that of valeric acid was higher in deer (P < 0.05). The number of protozoa was somewhat higher in deer. These results suggested that the lower digestibility in deer might be a result of the shorter retention time in the digestive tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Science Journal
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Digestibility
  • Passage rate
  • Protozoa
  • Rumen fermentation
  • Sika deer

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