Monensin and ammoniation or urea supplementation of bermudagrass hay diets for steers.

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One growth trial using crossbred beef steers (297 +/- 2 kg, Exp. 1) and one metabolism trial using Holstein steers (405 +/- 14 kg, Exp. 2) were conducted to evaluate effects of ammoniation (3% of hay DM, added as anhydrous NH3) vs urea supplementation with or without monensin supplementation of mature 'Alicia' bermudagrass hay-based diets for steers. Ammoniation (P < .05), but not urea (P = .26) or monensin (P = .70) supplementation, increased ADG in Exp. 1. In Exp. 2 ammoniation increased hay DMI (P < .05), but urea (P = .88) or monensin (P = .16) had no effect. Supplementation with either monensin (P < .05) or urea (P < .05) decreased ruminal total VFA concentrations. Monensin also decreased the ruminal acetate:propionate ratio (P < .001) and increased ruminal pH (P < .05). Addition of urea to the concentrate supplement decreased the rate of concentrate intake. Both the rate (P < .05) and the potential extent (P < .001) of ruminal forage in situ DM and NDF disappearance were increased by ammonia treatment. Dietary interactions (P < .10) were detected between monensin and ammoniation for rate and potential extent of in situ NDF disappearance and between monensin and urea supplementation (P < .05) for ruminal total free amino acid concentrations. Decreased concentrations of VFA and lower forage digestibilities observed with monensin supplementation in Exp. 2 may explain the failure of monensin to affect ADG in Exp. 1.

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Journal of animal science

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