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Influence of genotype and diet on steer performance, manure odor, and carriage of pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. III. Odorous compound production

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Three beef cattle diets were assessed for their potential to produce odorous compounds from cattle feces excreted during the growing and finishing periods. Eight pens containing 51 steers of varying proportions of Brahman and MARC III genotypes were fed either a chopped bromegrass hay diet or a corn silage diet for a 119-d growing period. After the growing period, all steers were switched to the same high-corn finishing diet (high corn) and fed to a target weight of 560 kg (finishing period). Fecal slurries were prepared from a composite of fresh fecal pats collected in each pen during both periods and incubated anaerobically. In additional flasks, starch, protein, or cellulose was added to the composite fecal subsamples to determine the preferred substrates for fermentation and odorous compound production. The content and composition of the fermentation products varied both initially and during the incubation, depending on the diet fed to the steers. The corn silage and high corn feces had the greater initial content of VFA (381.0 and 524.4 μmol/ g of DM, respectively) compared with the bromegrass feces (139.3 μmol/g of DM) and accumulated more VFA than the bromegrass feces during the incubation. L-Lactic acid and VFA accumulation in the high corn and corn silage feces was at the expense of starch, based on starch loss and the production of straight-chain VFA. In the bromegrass feces, accumulation of branched-chain VFA and aromatic compounds and the low starch availability indicated that the protein in the feces was the primary source for odorous compound production. Substrate additions confirmed these conclusions. We conclude that starch availability was the primary factor determining accumulation and composition of malodorous fermentation products, and when starch was unavailable, fecal microorganisms utilized protein.
Miller, D.N. , Berry, E.D. , Wells, J.E. , Ferrell, C.L. , Archibeque, S.L. , Freetly, H.C.
Includes references
Journal of animal science 2006 Sept., v. 84, no. 9
American Society of Animal Science
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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