+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Voluntary intake, digestibility and nitrogen utilization by sheep fed ensiled forage legumes



Voluntary intake, digestibility and nitrogen utilization by sheep fed ensiled forage legumes



Grass & Forage Science 55(3): 271-279



An experiment was conducted to compare the nutritive value of a range of ensiled forage legumes. Silages were prepared from late second-cut lotus (Lotus corniculatus), first-cut sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) and both early and late second-cut red clover (Trifolium pratense) and lucerne (Medicago sativa). Each experimental silage was offered to six Suffolk-cross wether lambs, aged 10 months, housed in metabolism crates. Voluntary intakes of dry matter ranged from 71 to 81 g kg-1 liveweight0.75 d-1. Voluntary intakes were similar on the lotus, sainfoin and late-cut red clover silages, but the voluntary intake on the lotus silage was significantly higher than that on the lucerne silages and early-cut red clover silage. Digestibility of organic matter in the dry matter was highest for the lotus silage (0.650), and lowest for the sainfoin silage (0.527). Although most of the N in the sainfoin silage appeared to be in an indigestible form, N digestibility was approximately 0.70 for the other legume silages. The highest loss of N in urine, 0.75 of N intake, was recorded for lambs offered the lucerne silage. Differences in N intake, N loss in faeces and N loss in urine led to statistically significant differences in the amount of N retained, with the highest and lowest N balances recorded for the lotus (16 g N d-1) and sainfoin (-2 g N d-1) silages respectively. The results confirm that these high protein forages have high intake potential. While low N digestibility appears to limit the nutritional value of sainfoin, further research could formulate feeding strategies that improve the efficiency with which the protein from red clover, lucerne and lotus is utilized.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 003611507

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2494.2000.00225.x


Related references

Digestibility, nitrogen utilization, and voluntary intake of ensiled crab waste-wheat straw mixtures fed to sheep. Journal of Animal Science 72(3): 565-571, 1994

Digestibility, nitrogen utilization and dry matter intake of ensiled broiler litter and corn forage by sheep. 1973

Digestibility and nitrogen utilization by sheep fed sorghum forage ensiled alone or with urea and poultry litter. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture 12(6): 611-617, 1996

Ensiled Broiler Litter and Corn Forage. Ii. Digestibility, Nitrogen Utilization and Palatability by Sheep. Journal of Animal Science 40(1): 156-160, 1975

Ensiled broiler litter and corn forage. 2. Digestibility, nitrogen utilization and palatability by sheep. Journal of Animal Science 40(1): 156-160, 1975

The effect of age and method of haymaking on the digestibility and voluntary intake of the forage legumes d dolichos lablab d and vigna sinensis d sheep. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture & Animal Husbandry 8(33): 409-412, 1968

Feed intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen utilization, and ruminal fermentation activities in sheep fed Atriplex halimus ensiled with three developed enzyme cocktails. Czech Journal of Animal Science 60(4): 185-194, 2015

Proanthocyanidins and polyphenols in ensiled forage legumes and nitrogen digestion by sheep. Journal of Dairy Science 77(Suppl. 1): 385, 1994

Voluntary intake and digestibility by sheep of alfalfa ensiled at different moisture concentrations following fertilization with dairy slurry. Journal of Animal Science 96(3): 964-974, 2018

Promising tropical grasses and legumes as feed resources in central Tanzania. IV. Effect of feeding level on digestibility and voluntary intake of four herbaceous legumes by sheep. Animal Feed Science & Technology 70(1-2): 97-110, 1998

Inclusion of forage legumes in diets based on tropical grasses. II. Voluntary intake and nutrient digestibility. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 82(1/2): 39-49, 1998

Treatment of whole crop cereals with alkali 2. voluntary intake and digestibility by sheep of rye barley and wheat crops ensiled with sodium hydroxide. Animal Feed Science and Technology 18(4): 271-282, 1987

Prediction of forage digestibility and voluntary intake in sheep. Annali della Facolta di Medicina Veterinaria, Universita di Parma 11: 301-314, 1991

The effect of age and method of haymaking on the digestibility and voluntary intake of the forage legumes Dolichos lablab and Vigna sinensis. Aust. J. exp. Agric. Anim. Husb, 8: 33, 409-12. Bibl. 4, 1968

The relationship between voluntary intake and digestibility of forage crops, using sheep. 10th int. Grassld Congr., Helsinki, July, 1966. 5. Bibl. 15, 1966