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    The aims of this experiment were (1) to compare the effects of a soybean meal with an enzymatic treatment (ESBM) to reduce the concentration of antinutritional factors versus a standard soybean meal (SBM) on foregut and small intestine digestion in weaned dairy calves and (2) to estimate the endogenous losses of crude protein (CP) in the small intestine. Our hypothesis was that a diet containing ESBM instead of SBM would improve ruminal and small intestine digestion and absorption of nutrients. A T-cannula was placed in the duodenum, and a second T-cannula was installed in the distal ileum of 12 Holstein calves at approximately 3 wk of age. Calves were weaned on d 42, and on d 50 they were assigned randomly to a quadruplicated 3 × 3 Latin square with 10-d periods. Digesta samples were collected on d 7 and 8 from the ileum and d 9 and 10 from the duodenum. The diets were fed for ad libitum intake and consisted of a calf starter (CS) of 20% CP with SBM as the main source of protein (CTRL), and an isonitrogenous CS with an ESBM instead of SBM (ENZT). A third diet with a low content of CP (10%) and no soy protein was fed to estimate endogenous N losses and digestibilities of test ingredients. Flows and digestibilities of nutrients were compared between CTRL and ENZT and their test ingredients (SBM vs. ESBM, respectively). Duodenal net flows of CP and total AA as well as ruminal microbial protein synthesis per kilogram of digested CP were greater, and flow of nonprotein N and CP true (corrected by endogenous and microbial flows) foregut digestibility were lower with ENZT than CTRL. The apparent small intestine digestibilities of CP and total AA were greater for ESBM than SBM, but there were no differences between the CTRL and ENZT diets. We observed no differences in digestibilities at the duodenum or ileum of starch or NDF, but true small intestine digestibilities of CP and all AA were greater with ENZT than CTRL. Total endogenous protein losses in the small intestine estimated from calves fed the low-CP with no soy protein diet were 37 ± 1.5 g of CP and 29 ± 1.4 g of AA/kg of DMI. These values may be considered the basal endogenous losses as they are similar to values obtained with the regression method, which estimates N losses when dietary N is null. Our results indicated that the inclusion of an ESBM improved the efficiency of ruminal microbial protein synthesis per digested kilogram of organic matter and CP, and increased CP and AA absorption in the small intestine despite a greater proportion of undigested dietary protein entering the duodenum. Copyright © 2021 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    I Ansia, H H Stein, C Brøkner, C A Hayes, J K Drackley. Nutrient digestibility and endogenous protein losses in the foregut and small intestine of weaned dairy calves fed calf starters with conventional or enzyme-treated soybean meal. Journal of dairy science. 2021 Mar;104(3):2979-2995

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    PMID: 33455792

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