Digestibility and voluntary intake of derinded sugar cane stalk with and without addition of cane tops

Ferreiro, H.M.; Preston, T.R.

Tropical Animal Production 2(1): 90-99


Accession: 000339908

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In 3 experiments the digestibility and intake of sugar cane diets were estimated with Brown Swiss X zebu bullocks of about 150 kg liveweight, given molasses and urea, minerals and, except in experiment 1, rice polishings. Total sugar contents (Brix values) of the sugar cane products were twice as high in juice from tops as from stalks. In experiment 1, the diets had chopped stalk and chopped tops in stalk to tops ratios of 75:25, 50:50 or 25:75. The digestibility of stalk alone was 70.7% and of the 25:75 mixture 61.0%. Intake increased from 1.68 kg/100 kg liveweight on stalk alone to 2.30 on the 75:25 diet and fell to 2.08 on tops alone. In experiment 2 there were 7 ratios of stalk:tops from 100:0 to 55:45, with the tops coarsely or finely chopped for each. The size of chopped tops had no effect on digestibility. Intakes were 2.13 kg/100 kg with coarsely chopped and 2.0 kg with finely chopped tops. There was a tendency for intake to increase with the proportion of tops, particularly when coarsely chopped, to a maximum of 2.5 kg with 22.5%, with no trend in digestibility. In the third experiment 8 bullocks were used in a Latin square experiment to compare chopped untreated or derinded stalk with or without 25% of chopped tops. The tops increased intake from 1.9 kg/100 kg to 2.2 kg and reduced digestibility from 67 to 63%. The effects were attributed to the long fibres and smaller sugar content of the tops. Derinding the stalk increased digestibility from 63 to 67% but reduced intake from 2.14 to 1.85 kg/100 kg. The importance of including some tops in sugar cane diets is emphasised. Brown Swiss X Zebu steers were fed mixtures of chopped sugar cane tops and stalks containing 0, 25, 50, 75 or 100% tops. Consumption index (kg DM/kg liveweight) increased as the proportion of tops increased. DM digestibility was lowest with 50-75% tops. In a 2nd experiment, derinded stalks were mixed with 7.5-45% tops. Consumption index was highest with 22.5% tops and was higher with coarsely than with finely chopped tops. Digestibility was not affected. In a 3rd experiment, chopped stalks were compared with derinded stalks, each with or without 25% chopped tops. Digestibility was significantly higher and voluntary intake lower for derinded than for whole stalks, and for rations without tops than for those with tops.