The study was performed on forages (n = 8), nonforage fibrous feeds (n = 10), and crop residues (n = 2). Samples were characterized for in situ NDF degradability (NDFD) at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 240 h of ruminal incubation. Then, samples were characterized for enzymatic NDFD by adopting a multistep enzymatic method consisting of a preincubation (PreInc) phase followed by enzymatic incubation (EnzInc) steps. In the PreInc phase, samples were incubated in a NaOH solution for 0, 30, 60, or 90 min. Then, in the EnzInc phase, samples were first incubated in a buffered enzymatic solution containing hemicellulase, cellulase, and Viscozyme L enzymes. Then, samples were incubated in a xylanase-buffered enzymatic solution. These 2-step EnzInc lasted for a total of 16 (8 h for the first enzymatic step + 8 h for the second enzymatic step), 32 (16 + 16 h), or 48 h (24 + 24 h). The enzymatic NDFD coefficients were increased by increasing both PreInc and EnzInc incubation times, and no PreInc x EnzInc interaction was observed, except for ryegrass hay. On average, enzymatic NDFD increased (P < 0.05) by 0.35, 0.54, or 0.68, respectively, for 30-, 60-, or 90-min PreInc compared with 0-min PreInc. The enzymatic NDFD increased (P < 0.05), on average, by 0.11 in 32-h EnzInc or 0.16 in 48-h EnzInc with respect to 16-h EnzInc. Enzymatic NDFD were used to predict in situ NDFD coefficients by adopting single regression equations. High coefficients of regression (R-2 > 0.80, P < 0.05) and low errors of prediction were measured when specific enzymatic conditions were performed to predict in situ NDFD at intermediate (from 24 to 48 h) ruminal incubation. Generally, worse regression performances were obtained when enzymatic NDFD were used to predict in situ NDFD evaluated after shorter or longer incubation times. The direct prediction of the rate of NDF degradation was not possible using enzymatic NDFD coefficients. Even if the proposed multistep enzymatic method appeared promising, further studies are required to improve enzymatic NDFD prediction ability within specific forage types or nonforage fibrous feeds.
- fibrous feeds
- in vitro method
- neutral detergent fiber degradability