The study was designed to compare low and high levels of protein, namely 90 and 147 g/kg of dietary dry matter, and to evaluate the effect of concentrate proportions on the in situ digestion kinetics of neutral detergent fibre in buffaloes and cows fed a low protein diet at maintenance intake level. In the first experiment, heifers and lactating females were offered a high protein diet. In the second, the performances of buffaloes and cows were compared when fed diets with low and high proportions of concentrate at low dietary protein level. At higher protein supply, the heifers showed a 6% unit increase in neutral detergent fibre degradability (NDFD) compared with lactating animals. Similarly, at a higher level of concentrate proportion, an 8% unit increase was observed in NDFD. In both experiments the comparison of buffaloes and cows was non-significant for NDFD. Those data that were pooled against the stage of development of both experiments for protein levels depicted a 13% unit increase in NDFD at high protein level compared with low level. At maintenance intake level, a high dietary crude protein or concentrate supply improved the in situ NDFD of tropical forages in buffaloes and cows, owing to the enhanced intake of NDF from concentrate and better synchronization of protein and energy availability in the rumen.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher