Digestibility and voluntary intake on sugar cane diets: effects of chopping the cane stalk in particles of different sizes

Montpellier, F.A.; Preston, T.R.

Tropical Animal Production 2(1): 40-43


Accession: 000339909

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In the first of 2 experiments with Brown Swiss X zebu bullocks of 180 kg liveweight sugar cane stalk was chopped with a machete to 20 mm or by machine to 2 to 5 mm or 5 to 10 mm. The diets were given to appetite and all had 2% N in DM from molasses with urea at 220 g/litre given at 50 ml/kg sugar cane. In the second experiment chopping with a machete and fine grinding by machine were compared in a changeover design with 8 bullocks. In this experiment 500 g of rice polishings also was given daily. There was no difference in digestibility or in voluntary intake attributable to the method of processing. Digestibility was the same in both experiments but voluntary intake was almost twice as much in the second. Sugar cane stalks were chopped with a machete into 20-mm lengths, or by machine to produce fine (2-5 mm) or coarse (5-10 mm) particles and were fed to Swiss X Zebu steers with molasses/urea with or without rice polishings. Particle size did not affect digestibility or voluntary intake. Intake was almost doubled when rice polishings were given.