Studies on the sulfur metabolism of cows on protein-free and low-protein feed

  • Eino Matikkala Biochemical Research Institute, Kalevankatu 56 b, SF-00180 Helsinki 18,Finland
  • Matti Kreula Biochemical Research Institute, Kalevankatu 56 b, SF-00180 Helsinki 18,Finland

Abstract

The influence of purified, protein-free feed with urea and ammonium salts as nitrogen sources (0-feed) and of non-purified, urea-rich, low-protein feeds (ULP-feed) on the sulfur metabolism of cows has been studied by determining the contents of sulfur fractions in faeces, urine, milk, blood and rumen fluid. The sulfur of 0-feed was composed entirely of inorganic sulfate. During balance trials the N:S ratio in the feed varied from 6.1 to 9.5, and the sulfur content from 0.22 to 0.31 % of the dry matter. In every trial (seven with 0-feed and two with ULP-feed), of five or seven days duration, the cows were in high-positive sulfur balance. The 0-cows excreted a greater proportion of their total sulfur output via urine than the ULP-cows. The excretion of inorganic sulfate sulfur, as a proportion of the urinary and faecal sulfur, was greater for 0-cows than for ULP- or NorP-cows (cows on normal, protein-rich feed); the opposite was the case with regard to the excretion of ester sulfate sulfur and neutral sulfur. The sulfur contents of milk and blood showed only minor inter-feed differences. The sulfate content in the rumen fluid of the 0-cow rose rapidly after the commencement of feeding and then fell quite rapidly. We conclude tentatively that in the rumen of the 0-cow hydrogen sulfide is generated so quickly that the whole of it cannot be used for the synthesis of sulfur-containing compounds, a considerable proportion of it being lost in eructations or excreted as inorganic sulfates in the urine.

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Section
Articles
Published
Sep 1, 1977
How to Cite
Matikkala, E., & Kreula, M. (1977). Studies on the sulfur metabolism of cows on protein-free and low-protein feed . Agricultural and Food Science, 49(4), 264-273. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.71943