Effects of exogenous phytase supplementation on phosphorus metabolism and digestibility of beef cattle

C. J. Long, L. B. Kondratovich, M. F. Westphalen, H. H. Stein, T. L. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives were to determine interactions between phytase inclusion and dietary P concentration on P utilization by beef cattle fed a starch-based diet. Six ruminally-fistulated steers (BW = 750 ± 61 kg) were allotted to a 6 × 6 Latin square design with a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Factors included phytase inclusion, at 0, 500, or 2,000 phytase units (FTU)/kg of diet DM, and dietary P concentrations, at 0.10% and 0.30% of total diet DM. Feed ingredients, fecal samples, and orts were composited within period, lyophilized and ground. Samples were analyzed for NDF, ADF, CP, fat, ash, total P, and other minerals. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS with animal as the experimental unit. The CORR procedure was used to compare blood and urinary P concentrations. There were no treatment interactions (P ≥ 0.30) for any parameter measured. There were no main effects (P ≥ 0.45) of phytase inclusion on DMI, total fecal output, apparent DM digestibility, water intake, or urinary output. Steers fed 0.10% P had decreased (P < 0.01) DMI and total fecal output, but increased (P < 0.01) apparent DM digestibility compared with steers fed 0.30% P. Although N intake and retention were not affected by treatment, steers fed the 0.10% P diet tended (P = 0.10) to absorb more N compared with steers fed 0.30% P; and, steers fed the 0.10% P diets excreted more N in the urine (P = 0.02) and less N in the feces (P < 0.01) compared with steers fed the 0.30% P diets. Steers fed the 0.10% P diets also consumed 70.1% less (P < 0.01) total P each day, and excreted 51.9% less (P < 0.01) P in feces and 94.6% less P in the urine (P < 0.01) compared with steers fed 0.30% P. Excretion of water-soluble P in the feces was greater (P < 0.01) on a g/d basis for steers fed 0.30% P when compared with steers fed 0.10% P. However, the proportion of total fecal P excreted as water-soluble P increased (P < 0.05) by 23.0% in steers fed 0.10% P compared with steers fed 0.30% P, regardless of phytase inclusion level. There was no effect of dietary phytase concentration on blood or urinary (P ≥ 0.27) P concentrations. Blood P concentration was positively correlated (r = 0.60; P < 0.01) to urinary P concentration when steers were fed 0.10% P; however, when steers were fed 0.30% P, there was no correlation (r = 0.36; P = 0.16) between blood and urine P. Regardless of dietary P concentration, phytase supplementation did not increase calculated P absorption or retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-178
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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