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Effect of Type of Hay and Concentrate Level in Intake and Digestibility in Diets for Goats

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Two forages, maize stover silage (MS) and alfalfa hay (AH) were combined with 0, 30 and 60% of three types of concentrate either rich in rapidly degradable starch (RS), slowly degradable starch (SS), or rich in digestible fibre (DF). Treatment effects and interactions were compared in terms of organic matter (OM), holocellulose (SC), non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and starch digestibility in the stomach and the whole tract. Mean intakes of OM, SC, NSC and starch were 925, 472, 270 and 224 g day−1, respectively. Mean digestibilities were 47.8, 59.0, 43.5 and 78.7%, respectively, in the stomach and 68.1, 63.9, 78.5 and 96.1%, respectively, in the whole tract. The precision of the estimates of stomach digestibility was lower than that of the whole tract. Significant treatment interactions were observed at the whole tract level except for the combination AH/DF. The influences of the level of concentrate on stomach and whole tract digestibility were parallel only when diets included RS and DF. In the case of SC digestion, large interactions were observed with MS-mixed rations contrary to AH-mixed ones. For the MS diet, there was good agreement between stomach and whole tract estimations. There was no influence of concentrate level on whole tract NSC digestibility, and no general relationship between stomach and whole tract NSC digestibilities. The use of whole tract digestibility to evaluate or quantify ruminal digestive interactions could be an inaccurate criterion. A specific feed effect must be taken into account when linking stomach and whole tract digestion of OM and SC.
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Intake and digestibility of feeds by ruminants are influenced by characteristics of the feed, animal and feeding situation. Integration of these characteristics in mathematical models is critical to future progress in forage evaluation and optimal formulation of diets for ruminants. The physiological and physical theories of intake regulation can be described by simple mathematical equations. These equations indicate that intake is a linear function of animal characteristics, such as body weight and production level, and a reciprocal function of feed characteristics, such as fill effect and energy content. Theoretical equations were developed to predict intake when the neutral detergent fiber and energy content of the diet and the energy requirements of the animal are known. The theoretical model also can be used to predict the maximum intake that will maintain a given level of animal production by solving the physiological and physical intake equations at their intersection. Psychogenic intake regulation, which is related to the animal's behavioral response to factors not related to physiological or physical characteristics, can be described mathematically as a multiplier. Digestibility can be predicted by summing the contents of ideal nutritive entities in feeds, which have true digestibilities near 100%, subtracting their associated endogenous losses and adding the variable digestible fiber content. Steady-state models indicate fractional rates of digestion and passage can be used to define ideal nutritive entities and predict digestibility over a range of kinetic characteristics. The steady-state solutions are particularly useful in understanding and predicting the depression in digestibility associated with changes in rates of passage at high levels of feed intake.
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Thirty wether lambs (52.5 +/- 1.5 kg) were used in a replicated 3 x 5 factorial treatment arrangement and four periods to determine dietary intake and digestibility of three ground forages with increasing levels of supplemental ground corn. Forages were a mature, low-protein grass hay (LQH; 5.2% CP), an immature, medium-protein grass hay (MQH; 10.2% CP), and an immature, high-protein grass hay (HQH; 14.2% CP). Supplementation treatments were no supplement (NS), a protein supplement (PS), protein plus .25% BW of corn (LC), protein plus .5% BW of corn (MC), and protein plus .75% BW of corn (HC). Crude protein intake (1.4 g/kg BW) from supplements was equalized with soybean meal and corn gluten meal. Lambs were housed in metabolism crates. Supplements were fed at 0700 each morning after orts from the previous day's feeding were removed. Hay was subsequently offered at approximately the previous day's consumption plus 25%. Each of the four periods lasted 21 d. Sixteen days were allowed for diet adaptation. Feces were collected with fecal bags during d 17 to 21. Lambs receiving LQH and PS had higher forage (P < .04) and total DMI (P < .001) than lambs fed LQH and NS. Corn supplementation decreased forage intake (quadratic effect; P = .08), total intake (quadratic effect; P = .08), and increased apparent DM digestibility (linear effect; P < .04) with lambs receiving LQH. Protein supplementation did not affect forage or total DMI (P > .11), and corn supplementation did not affect total DMI (P > .20) with either MQH or HQH.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
The in vivo digestibility and the rates of degradation and passage of alfalfa hay (AH) and vetch straw (VS) were compared in three Granadina goats and three Segureña wethers fed at approximately maintenance level, using a change over design. The nylon bag technique was used to estimate the fractional rate of degradation of the feeds in the rumen. The fractional outflow rate of hay and straw particles was determined with chromium as a marker. No significant differences in the digestibility coefficients of nutrients between animal species were found. Nitrogen retention expressed as coefficients of both nitrogen intake and digested nitrogen was lower (P < 0.01) in goats than in sheep when VS was offered. There was no significant difference between goats and sheep in the effective degradability (measured at outflow rates in the range of 0.027 to 0.032 h-1) of dry matter (DM) for either forage. However, the effective degradabilities of the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and crude protein (CP) of VS were lower (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), in goats than in sheep. The degradation rates of DM, NDF and CP were not significantly different (P > 0.05) between goats and sheep. Also, the fractional rate of passage of particles from the rumen was not different (P = 0.056) between species, although there was a tendency for an increased outflow rate in goats. In a second experiment the effects of animal species, type of diet and frequency of feeding on rumen fermentation pattern were studied following a factorial design. Four goats and four wethers were used. They were randomly allocated to three dietary treatments: AH, VS or a 50:50 mixture of AH and VS (AH/VS). Rations were offered in two or three meals daily and samples of rumen content were obtained at 09.00, 11.00, 13.00, 15.00, 17.00 and 19.00 h. No difference in rumen pH was found between goats and sheep. Total volatile fatty acids and ammonia concentrations were higher (P < 0.001) in sheep than in goats. The molar proportions of acetate and isovalerate were higher (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) in goats than in sheep, whereas the opposite was true for the molar proportion of n-butyrate. Feeding frequency had a slight effect on the rumen parameters measured. It is concluded that only minor differences in the digestive capacity and rumen activity of sheep and goats can be expected when they are fed on medium quality forages.
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