Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 January 2021
To investigate the influences of dietary riboflavin (RF) addition on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, eight rumen cannulated Holstein bulls were randomly allocated into four treatments in a repeated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Daily addition level of RF for each bull in control, low RF, medium RF and high RF was 0, 300, 600 and 900 mg, respectively. Increasing the addition level of RF, DM intake was not affected, average daily gain tended to be increased linearly and feed conversion ratio decreased linearly. Total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein (CP) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) increased linearly. Rumen pH decreased quadratically, and total volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased quadratically. Acetate molar percentage and acetate:propionate ratio increased linearly, but propionate molar percentage and ammonia-N content decreased linearly. Rumen effective degradability of DM increased linearly, NDF increased quadratically but CP was unaltered. Activity of cellulase and populations of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant cellulolytic bacteria, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased linearly. Linear increase was observed for urinary total purine derivatives excretion. The data suggested that dietary RF addition was essential for rumen microbial growth, and no further increase in performance and rumen total VFA concentration was observed when increasing RF level from 600 to 900 mg/d in dairy bulls.