Algal biomass has been identified as a third-generation biofuel. Significant quantities of the coproduct postextraction algal residue (PEAR) remain after lipid extraction. After extraction, PEAR is concentrated in protein (17.9% CP on a DM basis and 32.5% CP on an ash-free basis), suggesting it may be an alternative to cottonseed meal (CSM) as a protein supplement. Our objectives were to determine the optimal level of PEAR supplementation to steers consuming straw and to compare the effects of PEAR supplementation on straw utilization and N metabolism with an isonitrogenous level of CSM. Five steers (198.2 ± 6.1 kg of BW), in a 5 × 5 Latin square, had ad libitum access to oat straw (80% NDF and 4.5% CP on a DM basis). Treatments were infused ruminally once daily and included no supplemental protein (CON); PEAR at 50, 100, and 150 mg N/kg BW; and CSM at 100 mg N/kg BW. Provision of PEAR increased total digestible OM intake (TDOMI) quadratically (P = 0.01) from 0.9 (CON) to 1.6 kg/d (100 mg N/kg BW of PEAR). Organic matter digestibility (OMD) increased quadratically (P < 0.01) with supplementation and was maximized (55% OMD) at 50 mg N/kg BW of PEAR. At isonitrogenous levels of PEAR and CSM, TDOMI was similar (P = 0.13) as was OMD (P = 0.50). Negative N balance was observed for all treatments except PEAR provided at 100 or 150 mg of N/kg BW. Nitrogen balance was quadratic (P < 0.01) with the greatest retention (1.84 g N/d) occurring at 100 mg N/kg BW of PEAR. There were no differences (P ≥ 0.22) between isonitrogenous PEAR and CSM supplementation in measurements of ruminal ammonia or VFA concentrations. Straw utilization was maximized when PEAR was provided at 100 mg N/kg BW. Our observations suggest cattle provided PEAR utilize straw in a manner similar to those supplemented CSM, indicating PEAR has potential to substitute for CSM as a protein supplement in forage-based operations.
- CattlePostextraction Algal ResidueProteinStrawSupplementation