The rate and extent of digestion of dietary carbohydrates has a tremendous impact on ruminal fermentation and the productivity of the animals. The objective of the study was to determine the dry matter (DM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) degradabilities and rate and extent of feed byproducts (cotton seed cake, wheat bran), legumes [berseem (Egyptian clover), lucern (Medicago sativa), cowpeas (Vigna sinensis)], grasses [maize (Zea mays), millet (Panicum miliaceum), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare)] and wheat straw in ruminally fistulated male buffalo calves. By using nylon bags, 10 grams sample was exposed to the ruminal fermentation for 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 16, 24, 36, 48 and 96 hours. Dry matter and NDF degradability was measured at 48 hours. Extent of DM and NDF disappearance was determined at each time point. Rates of disappearance of DM and NDF were determined by regressing the natural logarithm of the percentage of original DM and NDF remaining in the bags between 1 and 96 hours. The dry matter digestibility (DMD) of the feed byproducts (FBP) and legume forages when incubated in the rumen of male buffalo calves were greater (p < 0.05) than grasses. Extent of digestion followed similar pattern as DMD. Rate of DMD was higher in FBP than in legumes and was the lowest in the wheat straw. The NDF degradability (NDFD) of FBP, legumes and grasses did not differ, however, wheat straw had the lowest NDFD from all the feeds tested. The lowest NDFD of wheat straw may have been due to the depressing effect of lignin on fiber digestion. The FBP and legumes had higher (p < 0.05) rates and lower extents of NDF digestion than grasses.
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