Effect of dairy cow dietary cation source and DCAD on invitro rumen fermentation parameters

Document Type : Ruminant Nutrition


Department of Animal Science, Birjand Faculty of Agriculture, Birjand, Iran


Introduction Minerals are an essential component of all biochemical reactions of the animal's body and microorganisms. The difference between specific anions and cations has a greater contribution to the physiological performance of the livestock than their individual effects. In the last decade, several studies have conducted on the use of diet minerals and their interaction on increasing dry matter intake. Recent studies have shown that high-yielding cows in early lactation respond well to raising the level of dietary anion-cation difference in order to increase milk production. Published results are much fluctuated regarding to mineral source and the changes scouring in rumen ecosystem. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of DCAD level and cation source on rumen digestion kinetics.
Materials and methods In order to investigate the effects of cation source and dairy cow diet’s DCAD level on microbial fermentation properties, the gas production and batch culture experiments were used. The experimental diets were prepared for use in the gas production method based on the metabolic needs of dairy cows using NRC system software. Then, the samples were milled and screened by one-millimeter mesh, and dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, ash, NDF and ADF were determined according to AOAC methods. In addition, the concentration of calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium elements was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy method, phosphorus, and sulfur were determined by colorimetric method and chlorine by gravimetry. Finally, the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) was calculated based on the Goff equation. The gas production parameters, the time corresponding to half of the maximum produced gas (t0.5), rumen acidity and dry matter degradability were measured in a 2 × 2 × 3 factorial experiment. Main factors were included of DCAD (+150, +250 and +350 meq/kg DM), potassium sources (Potassium carbonate (KC)) and Potassium carbonate sesquihydrate (KCS)) and magnesium sources (magnesium oxide (MO) and magnesium carbonate (MC)). 
Results and discussion Based on the results, there was a significant difference between treatments in gas production parameters, t0.5, ruminal pH and dry matter degradability. Treatment with DCAD of  +150 with two sources of KC and MC showed the highest amount of gas produced during 120 hours of incubation, with the highest potential for gas production and the highest gas production rate. In this treatment, since the fermentation rate was higher, t0.5 was reduced. The main effects of two sources of potassium have a statistically significant difference, so that potassium carbonate has higher gas production and fermentation rates than potassium carbonate sesquihydrate. The interactions of DCAD, magnesium and potassium sources on the pH of the culture medium and the surface under the pH curve were not significant. Among the main effects, the effect of magnesium source on pH of culture medium was not significant, but the potassium source had a significant effect on pH and the surface under the pH curve, so that the potassium carbonate source had higher ruminal pH than the Potassium carbonate sesquihydrate. There was no significant difference in ruminal acidity with increasing DCAD level during 12 hours of incubation. However, at time 24 and 72, the acidity index increased with increasing DCAD. Dry matter degradation was influenced by different experimental treatments. In general, in different treatments, the apparent digestibility of dry matter has increased linearly with increasing levels of DCAD. The increase in DCAD results in an increase in rumen pH and rumen buffering capacity, which leads to an increase in the concentration of rumen-derived volatile fatty acids and improved rumen function, and increases the degradability. The difference in gas production from dry matter degradation between different levels of DCAD was also statistically significant, So that DCAD +250 and +350 may increase the degradability of dry matter and consequently, increased gas production by improving the culture medium status. The use of the KCS source reduced the fermentation rate and increased the fermentation time, which increased the digestibility of dry matter.
Conclusion Generally, it can be concluded that DCAD increases the rumen pH and buffering capacity, and therefore the use of KC and MC sources with DCAD +250 levels improves rumen fermentation, But the use of the KCS source specifically increases dry matter intake by supplying potassium for the microbial population and increasing digestibility. Based on this, potassium carbonate sesquihydrate and magnesium oxide with DCAD +250 seems to be an appropriate supplement to dairy cow.


1- Alfonso-Avila, A. R., E. Charbonneau, P. Y. Chouinard, G. F. Tremblay, and R. Gervais. 2017. Potassium carbonate as a cation source for early-lactation dairy cows fed high-concentrate diets. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(3): 1751-1765.
2- AOAC. 2005. Official Methods of Analysis. Vol. I. 15th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA.
3- Apper-Bossard, E., P. Faverdin, F. Meschy, and J. L. Peyraud. 2010. Effects of dietary cation-anion difference on ruminal metabolism and blood acid-base regulation in dairy cows receiving 2 contrasting levels of concentrate in diets. Journal of Dairy Science, 93(9): 4196-4210.‏
4- Bach, A., I. Guasch, G. Elcoso, J. Duclos, and H. Khelil-Arfa. 2018. Modulation of rumen pH by sodium bicarbonate and a blend of different sources of magnesium oxide in lactating dairy cows submitted to a concentrate challenge. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(11): 9777-9788.
5- Beede. D. 2017. Can we differentiate supplemental magnesium sources nutritionally? In Proc. Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference. Fort Wayne, IN : 99-107.
6- Blümmel, M., H. P. S. Makkar., and K. Becker. 1997. In vitro gas production: a technique revisited. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 77(1‐5): 24-34.‏
7- Erdman, R. A. 1988. Dietary Buffering Requirements of the Lactating Dairy Cow: A Review1. Journal of Dairy Science, 71(12): 3246-3266.
8- Erdman, R. A., R. L. Botts, R. W. Hemken, and L. S. Bull. 1980. Effect of dietary sodium bicarbonate and magnesium oxide on production and physiology in early lactation. Journal of Dairy Science, 63(6): 923-930.‏
9- Ghiasi, S. E., R. Valizadeh., and A. Naserian. 2015. Effect of oxidized soybean oil against the antioxidant role of pomegranate nucieus on rumen fermentation parameters in laboratory. Iranian Journal of Animal Science Research, 7(3): 244-256. (In Persian)
10- Ghodratnama, A., S. L. Scott, R. J. Seoaneand, and G. S. T. Laurent. 1999. Effect of cation-anion differences and EDTA on performance, ruminal fermentation, blood acid-base Status and Fe availability in grain fed calves. EAAP. 50th Annual Meeting, Zurich.
11- Goff J. P., R. L. Horst, T. A. Reinhardt, and D. R. Buxton. 1997. Preventing milk fever in dairy cattle. Proc. Tri State Dairy Nutrition Conference, Fort Wayne, IN, p. 41.
12- Harrison, J., R. White, R. Kincaid, E. Block, T. Jenkins, and N. St-Pierre. 2012. Effectiveness of potassium carbonate sesquihydrate to increase dietary cation-anion difference in early lactation cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 95(7): 3919-3925.‏
13- Hu, W., and M. R. Murphy. 2004. Dietary cation-anion difference effects on performance and acid-base status of lactating dairy cows: A meta-analysis. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(7): 2222-2229.‏
14- Hu, W., L. Kung, and M. R. Murphy. 2007. Relationships between dry matter intake and acid–base status of lactating dairy cows as manipulated by dietary cation–anion difference. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 136(3): 216-225.‏
15- Iwaniuk, M. E., A. E. Weidman, and R. A. Erdman. 2015. The effect of dietary cation-anion difference concentration and cation source on milk production and feed efficiency in lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 98(3): 1950-1960.‏
16- Jenkins, T. C., W. C. Bridges, J. H. Harrison, and K. M. Young. 2014. Addition of potassium carbonate to continuous cultures of mixed ruminal bacteria shifts volatile fatty acids and daily production of biohydrogenation intermediates. Journal of Dairy Science, 97(2): 975-984.‏
17- Jenkins, T. C., P. H. Morris, and E. Block. 2012. Role of K on rumen fermentation and milk fat synthesis. In 23rd Annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium, University of Florida, 175-189.
18- Kawas, J. R., R. Garcia-Castillo, H. Fimbres-Durazo, F. Garza-Cazares, J. F. G. Hernandez-Vidal, E. Olivares-Saenz, and C. D. Lu. 2007. Effects of sodium bicarbonate, and yeast on nutrient intake, digestibility, and ruminal fermentation of lightweight lambs fed finishing diets. Small Ruminant Research, 67(2): 149-156.‏
19- Leno, B. M., LaCount, S. E., Ryan, C. M., Briggs, D., Crombie, M, and Overton, T. R. 2017. The effect of source of supplemental dietary calcium and magnesium in the peripartum period, and level of dietary magnesium postpartum, on mineral status, performance, and energy metabolites in multiparous Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(9) :7183-7197.
20- National Research Council. NRC. 2001. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle.‏ National Academy Press.
21- Razzaghi, A., H. Aliarabi., M. M. Tabatabaei., A. A. Saki., R. Valizadeh, and P. Zamani. 2012. Effect of Dietary Cation-Anion Difference during Prepartum and Postpartum Periods on Performance, Blood and Urine Minerals Status of Holstein Dairy Cow. Asian-Australian Journal of Animal Science. 25(4): 486-495.
22- Roch, J. R., S. Peth, and J. L. Kay. 2005. Manipulating the dietary cation anion difference via drenching to early lactating dairy cows grazing pasture. Journal of Dairy Science, 88: 264.
23- SAS Institute. 2009. SAS User’s Guide. Version 9.2. SAS Inst. Inc.,Cary , NC.
24- Schofield, P., R. E. Pitt, and A. N. Pell. 1994. Kinetics of fiber digestion from in vitro gas production. Journal of Animal Science, 72(11): 2980-2991.‏
25- Shahzad, M. A., and M. Sarwar. 2007. Nutrient intake, acid base status and growth performance of growing male buffalo calves fed varying level of dietary cation anion difference. Livestock Science, 111(1): 136-143.
26- Siadati, A., Y. Chashnidel, and E. Dirandeh. 2016. Considering dietary cation – anion changes on lactation performance, milk fatty acids profile and mineral concentration of serum in lactating dairy cows during heat stress. Iranian Journal of Animal Science, 113: 3-16.‏(In Persian)
27- Tebbe, A. W., D. J. Wyatt, and W. P. Weiss. 2017. Effects of magnesium source and monensin on nutrient digestibility and mineral balance in lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(2): 1152-1163.
28- West, J. W., C. E. Coppock, D. H. Nave, J. M. Labore, L. W. Greene, and T. W. Odom. 1987. Effects of Potassium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate on Rumen Function in Lactating Holstein Cows1. Journal of Dairy Science, 70(1): 81-90.
  • Receive Date: 25 February 2019
  • Revise Date: 27 April 2019
  • Accept Date: 24 August 2019
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2020