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Most of the published studies on estimating organic matter (OM) rumen digestibility (OMRD) use research animals fitted with simple t-type cannulas and an external or inter-nal marker for estimating the duodenal digesta flow. Although there is not an ideal or standard marker, com-pared to external markers, internal markers have the advantage of occurring naturally in the diet and, conse-quently, they flow intimately associated with digesta (Titgemeyer 1997). In digestibility studies where total faec-es output is measured, duodenal digesta flow may be estimated based on both faeces output and the ratio of a marker concentration in faeces and in duodenal digesta. Sulphuric acid lignin (ADL) has been commonly used as an internal marker in this approach. However, its low concen-trations in duodenal digesta usually compromises estimate precision. The objective of this study was to evaluate acid detergent fibre (ADF) in comparison with ADL, as well as with n-alkanes, as a marker for estimating OMRD in cattle.

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Evaluation of Acid Detergent Fibre, Sulphuric Acid Lignin and N-Alkanes as Markers for Estimating Ruminal Digestibility in Cattle

Most of the published studies on estimating organic matter (OM) rumen digestibility (OMRD) use research animals fitted with simple t-type cannulas and an external or inter-nal marker for estimating the duodenal digesta flow. Although there is not an ideal or standard marker, com-pared to external markers, internal markers have the advantage of occurring naturally in the diet and, conse-quently, they flow intimately associated with digesta (Titgemeyer 1997). In digestibility studies where total faec-es output is measured, duodenal digesta flow may be estimated based on both faeces output and the ratio of a marker concentration in faeces and in duodenal digesta. Sulphuric acid lignin (ADL) has been commonly used as an internal marker in this approach. However, its low concen-trations in duodenal digesta usually compromises estimate precision. The objective of this study was to evaluate acid detergent fibre (ADF) in comparison with ADL, as well as with n-alkanes, as a marker for estimating OMRD in cattle.