Sixteen ¾ Holstein-Zebu heifers aging 15 month-old averaging 144kg were used to evaluate the effect of the additions of different levels of cassava bagasse (5; 10; 15 and 20%) to elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum, Schum) ensilage on the diet quality and nutrients digestibility. The treatments consisted of four diets containing, as roughage, elephant grass silage with four different levels of cassava bagasse plus balanced concentrate, with four repetitions per treatment. Silages quality, diet nutrients intake and nutrients digestibility of the silages and total diets were evaluated. Cassava bagasse increased the dry matter (DM) content, of the silages preserving them with a pH varying from 3.85 to 4.07 and N-NH3/NT ratio from 6.2 to 7.85. Daily dry matter and crude protein (CP) mean intakes did not differ among the treatments (P>0.05). Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) mean intakes showed a decreasing linear behavior (P<0.05) with the increase of cassava bagasse levels. There was no detected difference among the treatments (P>0.05) for DM (DMD), NDF (NDFD) and ADF digestibility (ADFD). The total digestible nutrients (TDN) of the silages were similar in all the treatments. The CP (CPD), ether extract (EED) and non-fiber carbohydrates digestibility (NFCD) of the silages decreased linearly (P<0.05) with the increase of cassava bagasse levels. There was no difference (P>0.05) in DMD, CPD, NDFD, ADFD, EED, NFCD and TDN among the experimental diets. The 5% cassava bagasse addition to its elephant grass silage was satisfactory to preservation resulting in good digestibility of the elephant grass silage.
bovine; digestion; residue; silage; by-product