Effects of monensin inclusion and cattle subspecies on utilization of bermudagrass hay (13.7% CP, 77.3% NDF, and 38.8% ADF) were evaluated using ruminally cannulated steers (5 [BI] and 5 [BT]; 398 kg BW). Subspecies were concurrently subjected to a 2-period, 2-treatment crossover design. Treatments were 0 (CON) or 200 mg·steer·d monensin (MON) in 0.91 kg dried distillers' grains with solubles. Periods were 70 d in length: 20 d of adaptation, 22 d of sample collection, and 28 d for withdrawal of treatment. Steers were group housed during adaptation and moved to individual covered pens for sampling. Hay, ort, and fecal grab samples were collected d 21 through 25 for determination of intake and digestion. Ruminal fluid was collected with a suction strainer 0, 2, 4, 8, and 12 h after feeding on d 42 for pH, VFA, and ruminal NH-N (RAN) analysis. Additionally, at h 2, ruminal fluid and contents were collected for determination of rate of NH production and CH production rate. No subspecies × monensin interactions were observed ( ≥ 0.12). Monensin had no effect ( ≥ 0.16) on intake or digestibility parameters. No subspecies effect ( ≥ 0.11) was observed for forage OM intake, total OM intake, or OM digestion. Total digestible OM intake tended to be greater ( = 0.06) for BT steers than for BI steers (14.0 vs. 12.2 g/kg BW). There was an effect of hour after feeding ( ≤ 0.01) on pH, total VFA, acetate:propionate ratio, and molar percent acetate and propionate. Total VFA concentration was greater ( = 0.01) in CON steers than in MON steers (66.5 vs. 62.0 m). Monensin decreased molar percent acetate ( = 0.02) from 72.5 to 71.2% and increased molar percent propionate ( < 0.01) from 16.9 to 18.7%, resulting in a reduced ( < 0.01) acetate:propionate ratio (from 4.34 to 3.85). Although not significantly ( = 0.19), monensin numerically reduced the CH production rate by 15.8%. Greater ( = 0.07) CH production rate tended to be observed in BI steers than in BT steers (21.4 vs. 16.6 μmol CH·mL·h, respectively). Monensin had no effect ( ≥ 0.32) on pH, RAN, or rate of NH production. A subspecies × hour after feeding interaction was observed for RAN, with BT having greater RAN at h 0 and 4, whereas BI had greater RAN at h 2, 8, and 12. Overall, monensin decreased the acetate:propionate ratio and total VFA concentration but had no effect on forage utilization. steers consumed less digestible OM and had a greater CH production rate compared with BT steers, suggesting BT were better able to utilize the available forage resource than BI.
- CattleDigestionDried Distillers' GrainsForageIonophoreMethane