Evaluation of Rotation Grazed Pastures from Esophageal and Hand Gathered Forage Samples1
- W. W. Heinemann and
- T. S. Russel2
A study was conducted to determine changes in certain characteristics of rotation grazed irrigated orchardgrass-alfalfa pastures. Samples for botanical composition and selected proximate components were taken from esophageal fistulated animals and by hand collection. Botanical composition at the beginning of each rotation from the esophageal samples was similar to that of the hand samples. However, at the end of the rotations the esophageal samples had a grass-alfalfa ratio of 6:1 while the hand samples had a ratio of 3:2. Dry matter digestibility was similar each year but first-day samples were more highly digestible than last-day samples. for a given date there was no difference between dry matter digestibilities of hand and esophageal samples. First-day samples had higher protein levels than last-day samples. There was more protein in the esophageal samples than in the hand samples but it was not as digestible. The net effect was that by both methods the estimate of digestible protein intake per unit weight of dry matter was approximately equal. Crude fiber was higher at the end of a rotation than at the beginning and the esophageal samples contained less crude fiber than the hand samples. Crude fiber digestibility declined in both kinds of samples from the first to last day of grazing a rotation. Total digestible crude fiber intake per unit weight of dry matter intake was not the same for the two methods.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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