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Chemical composition digestibility and voluntary intake of grass and corn silages by sheep

Chemical composition digestibility and voluntary intake of grass and corn silages by sheep

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 56(1): 65-72

Chemical analysis, in vivo digestibility and voluntary intake measurements were used to determine the nutritive value of different crops made as silage for sheep. In experiment 1 grass silages contained less N-NH3 than corn-pea silage. Digestible energy intake of grass silage treated with formic acid was higher than that which was untreated. Digestibility, dry matter intake and the nutritive value index were higher for corn-pea silage than for treated or untreated grass silage. In experiment 2 six different silages were made. Corn was harvested at the milk and dough stages of growth and after a frost and was chopped at either 1.3 cm or 0.6 cm. Silage made with corn harvested after a frost and chopped at 1.3 cm and that made with corn harvested at the milk stage and chopped at 0.6 cm had higher N-NH3 content than the others. Fine chopping decreased digestibility of silages harvested at earlier maturity stages but increased the digestible energy of the corn silage harvested after a frost. Voluntary intake was greater with silages harvested at the later dates than with silage harvested at the milk stage.

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