Quantifying the effect of monensin dose on the rumen volatile fatty acid profile in high-grain-fed beef cattle

J.L. Ellis, J. Dijkstra, A. Bannink, E. Kebreab, S.E. Hook, S. Archibeque, J. France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Monensin is a common feed additive used in various countries, where 1 of the associated benefits for use in beef cattle is improved efficiency of energy metabolism by the rumen bacteria, the animal, or both. Modeling fermentation-altering supplements is of interest, and thus, it is the purpose of this paper to quantify the change in VFA profile caused by monensin dose in high-grain-fed beef cattle. The developmental database used for meta-analysis included 58 treatment means from 16 studies from the published literature, and the proportional change in molar acetate, propionate, and butyrate (mol/100 mol) as well as total VFA (mM) with monensin feeding dose (mg/kg DM, concentration in the feed) was evaluated using the MIXED procedure (SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC) with the study treated as a random effect. The mean monensin dose in the literature database was 30.9 ± 3.70 mg/kg DM and ranged from 0.0 to 88.0 mg/kg DM. Mean DMI was 7.8 ± 0.26 kg DM/d, mean concentrate proportion of the diet was 0.87 ± 0.01, and mean treatment period was 42 ± 5.6 d. Results produced the following equations: proportional change in acetate (mol/100 mol) = -0.0634 (± 0.0323) × monensin (mg/kg DM)/100 (P = 0.068), proportional change in propionate (mol/100 mol) = 0.260 (± 0.0735) × monensin (mg/kg DM)/100 (P = 0.003), and proportional change in butyrate (mol/100 mol) = -0.335 (± 0.0916) × monensin (mg/kg DM)/100 (P = 0.002). The change in total VFA was not significantly related to monensin dose (P = 0.93). The results presented here indicate that the shift in VFA profile may be dose dependent, with increasing propionate and decreasing acetate and butyrate proportions (mol/100 mol). These equations could be applied within mechanistic models of rumen fermentation to represent the effect of monensin dose on the VFA profile in high-grain-fed beef cattle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2717-2726
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • high-concentrate diet
  • feedlot cattle
  • ruminal fermentation
  • methane production
  • enteric methane
  • plus tylosin
  • dairy-cows
  • laidlomycin propionate
  • sodium-bicarbonate
  • blood metabolites


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying the effect of monensin dose on the rumen volatile fatty acid profile in high-grain-fed beef cattle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this