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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


ALMEIDA, Maria Izabel Vieira de et al. Nutritive value of elephant grass (Penninsetum purpureum, Schum), alfalfa hay (Medicago sativa, L.) and coast-cross grass hay (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) for horses. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 1999, vol.28, n.4, pp.743-752. ISSN 1806-9290.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the intake and apparent digestibility of nutrients of elephant grass forages, alfalfa and coast-cross grass hays in adult horses. Eighteen adult Mangalarga Marchador mares were allotted to a completely randomized design with three treatments that consisted on diets with the following forages: T1 - elephant grass, T2 - alfalfa hay, T3 - coast-cross grass hay. The animals were ad libitum fed twice a day. The experimental period was constituted by a phase of eight days for diet adaptation and a phase of five days for total collection of feces. There were no differences of forage dry matter intake, with average values of 6.27 kg DM, 68.41 g DM/kg0,75 or 1.51% LW. The average coefficients of apparent digestibility of elephant grass and alfalfa and coast-cross grass hays were 43.10, 55.20, and 49.80% for DM, 4160, 53.40, and 47.90% for gross energy, 24.60; 71.20 and 56.10% for crude protein and 40.60, 35.50, and 63.30% for neutral detergent fiber.

Keywords : forages; digestibility; energy; protein; maintenance.

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