Effects of different carbohydrate sources on the performance, ruminal and blood metabolites and nutrients digestibility in fattening male-lambs fed corn steep liquor

Document Type : Original Research Article (Regular Paper)


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Lorestan University, P.O. Box 465, Khorramabad, Iran


The current experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing dietary corn/barley mixture with molasses, a ruminal fermentable carbohydrate source, at 0, 50 and 100 g/kg dietary dry matter (DM) in the diet of fattening lambs containing corn steep liquor (CSL, 130 g/kg DM), a ruminal degradable protein source. Twenty-four male Lori lambs (average body weight of 27.7±3.41 kg; 120.0±7.5 days of age) were randomly assigned into three groups of eight lambs each in a balanced completely randomized design. Results indicated that supplementing dietary CSL with increasing levels of molasses up to 100 g/kg DM linearly increased the digestibility of organic matter and ash-free neutral detergent fiber (P<0.05). Increasing the level of molasses in the CSL containing diets had no effect on ruminal pH (P>0.05), but linearly decreased rumen concentration of NH­­3-N (P<0.05). Except for total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and molar proportion of butyrate which were increased linearly with increasing dietary molasses level, other VFAs were not influenced by the experimental diets. Increasing the level of molasses in the diet up to 100 g/kg DM linearly increased plasma total protein concentration while linearly reduced blood urea nitrogen concentration. Total weight gain and average daily gain were improved but feed conversion ratio decreased linearly with increasing dietary level of molasses. In conclusion, supplementing CSL with molasses at the level of 100 g/kg dietary DM increased the nutrient digestibility and performance of fattening lambs.


Main Subjects

Abarghuei, M.J., Rouzbehan, Y., Salem, A.Z.M., Zamiri, M.J., 2014. Nitrogen balance, blood metabolites and milk fatty acid composition of dairy cows fed pomegranate-peel extract. Livestock Science 164, 72-80.
AOAC, 2000. Official Methods of Analysis. 17th ed., Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Washington, DC, USA.
Araba, A., Byers, F.M., Guessous, F., 2002. Patterns of rumen fermentation in bulls fed barley/molasses diets. Animal Feed Science and Technology 97, 53-64.
Azizi-Shotorkhoft, A., Rezaei, J., Fazaeli, H., 2013. The effect of different levels of molasses on the digestibility, rumen parameters and blood metabolites in sheep fed processed broiler litter. Animal Feed Science and Technology 179, 69-76.
Azizi-Shotorkhoft, A., Rouzbehan, Y., Fazaeli, H., 2012. The influence of the different carbohydrate sources on utilization efficiency of processed broiler litter in sheep. Livestock Science 148, 249-254.
Azizi-Shotorkhoft, A., Sharifi, A., Azarfar, A., Kiani, A., 2018. Effects of different carbohydrate sources on activity of rumen microbial enzymes and nitrogen retention in sheep fed diet containing recycled poultry bedding. Journal of Applied Animal Research 46, 50-54.
Azizi-Shotorkhoft, A., Sharifi, A., Mirmohammadi, D., Baluch-Gharaei, H., Rezaei, J., 2016. Effects of feeding different levels of corn steep liquor on the performance of fattening lambs. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 100, 109-117.
Benavides, M.C., Rodriguez, J., 1971. Salivary secretion and its contribution to ruminal fluid flow in animals fed on liquid molasses/based diets. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science 5, 31-40.
Brockman, R.P., 1993. Glucose and short-chain fatty acid metabolism. In: Forbes, J.M., (Ed.), Quantitative Aspects of Ruminant Digestion and Metabolism, CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA, pp. 249-265.
Broderick, G., Kang, J.H., 1980. Automated simultaneous determination of ammonia and total amino acids in ruminal fluid and in vitro media. Journal of Dairy Science 63, 64-75.
Broderick, G.A., Radloff, W.J., 2004. Effect of molasses supplementation on the production of lactating dairy cows fed diets based on alfalfa and corn silage. Journal of Dairy Science 87, 2997-3009.
Chamberlain, D.G., Robertson, S., Choung, J.J., 1993. Sugars versus starch as supplements to grass silage: effects on ruminal fermentation and the supply of microbial protein to the small intestine, estimated from the urinary excretion of purine derivatives in sheep. Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture 63, 189-194.
Chanjula, P., Wanapat, M., Wachirapakorn, C., Rowlinson, P., 2004. Effect of synchronizing starch sources and protein (NPN) in the rumen on feed intake, rumen microbial fermentation, nutrient utilization andperformance of lactating dairy cows. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 17, 1400-1410.
Chovatiya, S.G., Bhatt, S.S., Shah, A.R., 2010. Evaluation of corn steep liquor as a supplementary feed for Labeorohita (Ham.) fingerlings. Aquaculture International 19, 1-12.
Cole, N.A., Todd, R.W., 2008. Opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency through nutrient synchrony in concentrate-fed ruminants. Journal of Animal Science 86, E318-E333.
Cottyn, B.G., Boucque, C.V., 1968. Rapid method for the gas-chromatographic determination of volatile fatty acids in rumen fluid. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 16, 105–107.
FASS. 2010. Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching. 3rd ed. Fed. Anim. Sci. Soc., Champaign, IL.
Filipovic, S.S., Ristic, M.D., Sakac, M.B., 2002. Technology of corn steep application in animal mashes and their quality. Romanian Biotechnological Letters 7, 705-710.
Golpour, A., 2012. Using corn steep liquor in the quail nutrition. M.Sc. Thesis, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran (in Persian).
Hall, M.B., 2000. Neutral Detergent-soluble Carbohydrates. Nutritional Relevance and
Analysis. University of Florida, Gainesville.
Hatch, C.F., Beeson, W.M., 1972. Effect of different levels of cane molasses on nitrogen and energy utilization in urea diets for steers. Journal of Animal Science 35, 854-858.
Huhtanen, P., 1988. The effects of barley, unmolassed sugar-beet pulp and molasses supplements on organic matter, nitrogen and fiber digestion in the rumen of cattle given a silage diet. Animal Feed Science and Technology 20, 259-278.
Jasmin, B.H., Boston, R.C., Modesto, R.B., Schaer, T.P., 2011. Perioperative ruminal pH changes in domestic sheep (Ovisaries) housed in a biomedical research setting. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal 50, 27-32.
Khezri, A., Rezayazdi, K., Danesh-Mesgaran, M., Moradi-Sharbabk, M., 2009. Effect of different rumen-degradable carbohydrates on rumen fermentation, nitrogen metabolism and lactation performance of Holstein dairy cows. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 22, 651-658.
Lardy, G., Klopfenstein, T.J., Adams, D.C., Lamb, J., Clark, D., 1997. Rumen degradable protein requirement of gestating summer calving beef cows grazing dormant native sand hills range. Nebraska Beef Cattle Reports, Paper 443. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/animalscinbcr/443.
Licitra, G., Hernandez, T.M., Van Soest, P.J., 1996. Standardization of procedures for nitrogen fractionation of ruminant feeds. Animal Feed Science and Technology 57, 347-358.
Marten, G.C., Barnes, R.F., 1980. Prediction of energy digestibility of forages with in vitro rumen fermentation and fungal enzyme systems, In: Pigden, W.J., Balch, C.C., Graham, M., (Eds.). Standardization of Analytical Methodology for Feeds. Int. Devel. Res. Ctr., Ottawa, ON, Canada, pp. 61-71.
Marty, R.J., Henderickx, H.K., 1973. Study on the buffering properties of rumen fluid of sheep fed a high sugar cane molasses diet. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science 7, 191-203.
Mirza, M.A., Mushtaq, T., 2006. Effect of supplementing different levels of corn steep liquor on the post-weaning growth performance of Pak-Karakul lambs. Pakistan Veterinary Journal 26, 135–137.
Nisa, M., Sarwar, M., Khan, M.A., 2004. Nutritive value of urea treated wheat straw ensiled with or without corn steep liquor for lactating Nili-Ravi buffaloes. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 17, 825-829.
NRC, 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants: Sheep, Goats, Cervids, and New World Camelids. National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Obara, Y., Dellow, D.W., 1993. Effect of intra-ruminal infusions of urea, sucrose or urea plus sucrose kinetics in sheep fed chopped Lucerne hay. Journal of Agricultural Science 121, 125-130.
Pate, F.M., 1983. Molasses in Beef Nutrition. National Feed Ingredients Association, West Des Moines, Iowa, USA, pp. 57-59.
Preston, T.R., Morejon, M., Quinones, M., 1971. Changes in rumen fermentation parameters with age in Holstein calves weaned early on two molasses-based diets. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science 5, 271-278.
Radostitis, O.M., Gay, C.C., Blood, D.C., Hinchliff, K.W., 2007. Veterinary Medicine, A textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, goats and horses. 10th ed. W.B. Saunders, Ltd. London, UK.
Ribeiro-Filho, C.C., Trenkle, A., 2002. Evaluation of feeding value of the corn steep liquor as an energy and protein source for finishing cattle diets. Journal of Animal Science 80, 232.
Richardson, J.M., Wilkinson, R.G., Sinclair, L.A., 2003. Synchrony of nutrient supply to the rumen and dietary energy source and their effects on the growth and metabolism of lambs. Journal of Animal Science 81, 1332-1347.
Robertson, J.B., Van Soest, P.J., 1981. The detergent system of analysis and its application to human foods. In: James, W.P.T., Theander, O., (Eds.), The Analysis of Dietary Fiber in Food. Marcel Dekker, NY, USA, pp. 123-158.
Sahoo, A., Agarwal, N., Kamra, D.N., Chaudhary, L.C., Pathrak, N.N., 1999. Influence of level of molasses in de-oiled rice bran-based concentrate mixture on rumen fermentation patterns in crossbred cattle calves. Animal Feed Science and Technology 80, 83-90.
Sannes, R.A., Messman, M.A., Vagnoni, D.B., 2002. Form of rumen- degradable carbohydrate and nitrogen on microbial protein synthesis and protein efficiency of dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 85, 900-908.
Sarwar, M., Nisa, M., Khan, M.A., 2004. Influence of ruminally protected fat and urea treated corncobs ensiled with or without corn steep liquor on nutrient intake, digestibility, milk yield and its composition in Nili-Ravi buffaloes. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 17, 86-93.
Sinclair, L.A., Garnsworthy, P.C., Beardsworth, P., Freeman, P., Buttery, P.J., 1991. The use of cytosine as a marker to estimate microbial protein synthesis in the rumen. Animal Production 52, 592 (Abstr).
Sinclair, L.A., Garnsworthy, P.C., Newbold, J.R., Buttery, P.J., 1993. Effect of synchronizing the rate of dietary energy and nitrogen release on rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis in the sheep. Journal of Agricultural Science120, 251-263.
Steel, R.G.D., Torrie, J.H., 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics: a Biometrical Approach, 2nd. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, p. 633.
Tauqir, N.A., Shahzad, M.A., Mahmood, Y., Sharif, M., Nisa, M.U., Sarwar, M., 2013. Performance of Nili Ravi buffalo calves fed urea-corn steep liquor treated corn cobs. Buffalo Bulletin 32, 918-923.
Van Soest, P.J., 1994. Nutritional Ecology of the Ruminant, 2nd ed. Cornell University Press, Itacha, NY, USA, pp. 476-477.
Van Keulen, J., Young, B.A., 1977. Evaluation of acid-insoluble ash as a natural marker in ruminant digestibility studies. Journal of Animal Science 44, 282-289.
Van Soest, P.J., Robertson, J.B., Lewis, A., 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science 74, 3583-3597.