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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


AGUIAR, Emerson Moreira de et al. Intake and apparent digestibility of chopped grass hays fed to goats. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.6, pp.2219-2225. ISSN 1516-3598.

The objective of this trial was to investigate intake and apparent digestibility of nutrients on goats fed one of the following chopped grass hays: pearl millet (PMH), sudangrass (SH), elephantgrass (EH) or two cultivars of forage sorghum (FSH1 and FSH2). Twenty-five goats averaging 18 months of age and 19.5 kg of body weight were assigned to a completely randomized block design with five treatments and five replicates. DM intake (DMI), expressed as percentage of body weight (% BW), did not differ and averaged 2.41, 2.33, 2.25, 1.82, and 1.85%, respectively, for PMH, SH, EH, FSH1, and FSH2. The same was observed for the intakes of OM and NDF. However, CP intake as % BW was greater on goats fed PMH and SH than on those fed EH, FSH1, and FSH2. No significant differences were observed for the apparent total tract digestibility of DM that varied from 49.87 to 55.90% across hays. CP digestibility was lowest on FSH2, intermediate on SH and FSH1, and greatest on PMH and EH while that of NDF differed significantly only by comparing PMH (64.44%) with FSH2 (54.72%). It can be concluded that the overall nutritional quality of all five hays were similar and further research is required to verify potential differences in animal performance among these forage sources.

Keywords : forage; haymaking; Pennisetum; ruminant nutrition; Sorghum.

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