Effects of dietary protein and carbohydrate source on rumen fermentation and nutrient flow in sheep

Hedvig Fébel, Szilvia Huszár, Ildikó Zsolnai Harczi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effects of decreasing levels of rumen degradable protein (RDP) and nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) (Diet 1: 74% RDP and 38% NSC; Diet 2: 57% RDP and 32% NSC; Diet 3: 48% RDP and 23% NSC) were studied in cannulated sheep. Total volatile fatty acid (VFA) content rose in response to increasing NSC content. The molar ratio of acetate to propionate was the narrowest for Diet 1. Ruminal concentrations of ammonia and urea increased in response to the rising level of RDP. Flow of organic matter (OM) to the duodenum was increased for Diet 3, which resulted in the lowest apparent and true ruminal digestion of OM. Duodenal flow of total nitrogen (N) increased as RDP content decreased. The highest quantity of undegraded feed protein in duodenal digesta was measured in sheep fed Diet 3. Microbial N flow and microbial efficiency were unaffected by the diets. These results indicate that an NSC level lower than 25% and an RDP content lower than 50% did not exert any negative effect on microbial N production. This phenomenon supports the theory that if the level of RDP is lowered with a concomitant decrease in NSC, uncoupled fermentation cannot be observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalActa veterinaria Hungarica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000


  • Degradation
  • Microbial efficiency
  • Nonstructural carbohydrate
  • Rumen degradable protein
  • Rumen fermentation
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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