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Voluntary intake, growth rate, and tissue retention by Holstein steers fed formaldehyde- and formic acid-treated alfalfa and orchardgrass silages



Voluntary intake, growth rate, and tissue retention by Holstein steers fed formaldehyde- and formic acid-treated alfalfa and orchardgrass silages



Journal of Animal Science 69(11): 4644-4659



Alfalfa and orchardgrass herbages of similar digestibility were harvested at early and late maturity from primary growth and conserved as direct-cut silage using formic acid and formaldehyde simultaneously. Major compositional differences between the silages were lower NDF (principally hemicellulose) and a greater N content in alfalfa than in orchardgrass. An initial group of eight steers was slaughtered with a mean BW of 222 kg, and each of the four silages was fed to comparable groups of eight Holstein steers. Ad libitum DMI per unit of metabolic BW for alfalfa silages was 128% of that for orchardgrass silages. The ADG of steers fed alfalfa silages was 132% of that of steers fed orchardgrass silages. Despite greater ad libitum intake, total gut fill, as a percentage of BW, on alfalfa silages was 77% of that on orchardgrass silages. Daily empty BW gain of steers fed alfalfa silages was 158% of that of steers fed orchardgrass silages. Daily energy retention of steers fed alfalfa silages was 180% of that of steers fed orchardgrass silages. Steers fed alfalfa silages retained 140% more protein than steers fed orchardgrass silages did, but steers fed alfalfa silages retained only 71% as much protein energy relative to their total energy retention compared with steers fed orchardgrass silages. Differences in composition of daily energy retained were almost totally a result of differences in the total daily energy retention. Late alfalfa silage produced a greater daily gain than orchardgrass silage cut 2 wk earlier because greater intake compensated for lower digestibility.

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Accession: 002275947

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PMID: 1661286


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Voluntary intake, growth rate, and tissue retention by Holstein steers fed formaldehyde- and formic acid-treated alfalfa and orchardgrass silages1. Journal of Animal Science 69(11): 4644-4659, 1991

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