Articles "Prediction of Intake of Hay Differing in Species and Maturity by Goats" Article Index

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By: "Coleman, Samuel W., Hart, S.P., Sahlu, T."
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Interpretive Summary:
Regulation of voluntary intake continues to be one of the major topics in ruminant nutrition because of the interactions of the animal and its demand and the limitations imposed by the feed, particularly when the feed is forage. Ultimately forage intake affects all aspects of performance, growth, milk or wool. For forages in particular, rumination time (post ingestion chewing time) in the processing of forage is one of the important limitations forages impose on their intake. We initiated this research to determine the relationships among forage chemistry (protein and digestibility estimates), eating and ruminating behavior, rate of passage, DM intake, and nutrient digestibility using goats as a model system. To assess the relative importance of all these factors, we utilized a wide array of forage types including warm-season and cool-season annual and perennial grasses and used the legume, alfalfa, as a control. We found that forage chemistry provided little insight for explaining intake in goats but was quite useful for predicting digestibility. Intake was better related to measures of resistance to breakdown (rumination time and passage rate) than simple measures of forage chemistry.

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