Docusate supplementation affects feed intake and digestion of cattle

Zhen Huang, Qiujiang Luo, Wenlong Xie, Shimin Liu, Yong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The effects of docusate (DOC) supplementation on feed intake and digestion of cattle were studied. Materials and Methods: Four Simmental × Xinjiang Brown nonpregnant female cattle, with a BW of 248.9 ± 9.4 kg and a permanent rumen cannula, were assigned to 4 treatments: dietary supplementation of DOC at 0 (the control), 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 g/kg of DM diet in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Each period consisted of 16 d for adaptation followed by 6 d for sample collection (feed, feces, and mixture of feces + urine) and measurements. All animals were fed individually with the same basal diet. Results and Discussion: Supplementation with DOC had a quadratic effect on voluntary feed intake (VFI); VFA concentration in rumen fluid; amounts of digested nutrients; and the retention of nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) compared with the control. The highest increment values were 39.5% for VFI, 14.9% for VFA, and 9.1% for N retention at a DOC dose of 1.2 g/kg of diet. The ruminal ammonia concentration declined linearly with increasing DOC dose. Docusate supplementation decreased, in a quadratic manner, the digestibility of dietary components, likely due to the increased VFI. It was concluded that DOC fed at 1.2 g/kg of diet stimulated VFI and digestion in cattle. Implications and Applications: Supplementation with DOC at the appropriate dose can stimulate feed intake and digestion in cattle, and DOC could be used as a feed additive for ruminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-558
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Animal Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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