This objective is to elucidate the effect of purple field corn stover treated with Pleurotus ostreatus and Volvarialla volvacea on feed utilization, ruminal ecology, and CH4 synthesis in tropical beef cattle. Four male Thai native beef cattle (100 ± 30 kg of body weight (BW) were assigned randomly as a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Factor A (roughage sources) was rice straw and purple field corn stover and factor B was species of white-rot fungi (P. ostreatus and V. volvacea). After fermentation, crude protein (CP) was increased in rice straw and purple field corn stover fermented with P. ostreatus and V. volvacea. The unfermented purple field corn stover contained 11.8% dry matter (DM) of monomeric anthocyanin (MAC), whereas the MAC concentration decreased when purple field corn stover was fermented with white rot fungi. There were no changes (p > 0.05) in DM intake of body weight (BW) kg/d and g/kg BW0.75 among the four treatments. The organic matter (OM), CP, and acid detergent fiber (ADF) intake were different between rice straw and purple field corn stover and were the greatest in the purple field corn stover group. Moreover, the current study showed that neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and ADF digestion was higher in purple field corn stover than in rice straw, but there were no significant differences between P. ostreatus and V. volvacea. There were significant effects of roughage sources on ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) at 4 h after feeding. Bacterial population was changed by feeding with purple field corn stover fermented with P. ostreatus and V. volvacea. On the other hand, the number of protozoa was reduced by approximately 33% at 4 h after feeding with purple field corn stover (p < 0.01). Propionic acid concentration was different between roughage sources (p < 0.01) enhanced with purple field corn stover fermented with P. ostreatus and V. volvacea. In addition, methane production decreased by 15% with purple field corn stover fermented with P. ostreatus and V. volvacea compared to rice straw. There were significant differences on all nitrogen balances parameters (p < 0.05), except the fecal N excretion (p > 0.05) were not changed. Furthermore, microbial crude protein and efficiency of microbial N synthesis were enhanced when purple field corn stover fermented with P. ostreatus and V. volvacea was fed compared to rice straw group. Base on this study, it could be summarized that P. ostreatus or V. volvacea can enhance the quality of purple field corn stover and modulate rumen fermentation and feed digestion in Thai native beef cattle.
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