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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Effect of acetic acid, caproic acid and tryptamine on voluntary intake of grass silage by growing cattle

Krizsan, Sophie Julie; Randby, Å.T.; Westad, Frank


The objective of this study was to identify and quantify fermentation end-products, detected with chromatographic techniques, that were negatively related to intake of grass silage by cattle. Further, the aim was to verify the intake-depressing effect of these compounds in a feeding trial. A set of twenty-four silages that had been used in a previous study to model variations in intake owing to fermentation quality was reanalysed with liquid and gas chromatography. Known and unknown chromatogram peaks were subjected to a regression analysis to determine which were negatively related to intake. Compounds were identified and quantified using a liquid chromatographymass spectrometry system; acetic acid (AcA), caproic acid and tryptamine were chosen for verification. Growing steers were offered wilted silage with these three compounds added, separately or as a mixture, in proportions similar to the maximum values detected in the silages of the previous study. Dietary addition of AcA, either separately or mixed with the other two compounds, reduced silage dry matter (DM) intake. However, the reduction in silage DM intake equalled the amount provided by the added substances, so that no differences in total DM intake were observed for any of the dietary treatments.


cattle; fermentation end-products; grass silage; nutritive value; silage quality; voluntary intake

Published in

Grass and Forage Science
2012, volume: 67, number: 3, pages: 361-368

Authors' information

Randby, Å.T.
Westad, Frank

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Veterinary Science
Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


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