Effects of treating lucerne with an inoculum of lactic acid bacteria or formic acid upon chemical changes during fermentation and upon the nutritive value of the silage for lambs

Phillip, L.E.; Underhill, L.; Garino, H.

Grass and Forage Science 45(3): 337-344

1990


ISSN/ISBN: 0142-5242
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2494.1990.tb01958.x
Accession: 007287701

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Abstract
A second cut of lucerne was wilted to 500 g DM kg-1 and either left untreated (control) or treated with formic acid (4.5 l fresh forage t-1) or with a commercial inoculum of lactic acid bacteria (105 colony forming units (cfu) g forage-1). The forages were ensiled in 2-t capacity silos for 8 months, and later fed to six lambs (mean initial weight 27.7 .+-. 1.60 kg) in a 3 .times. 3 duplicated Latin square with 27-d periods. Portions of the untreated and additive-treated forages were also ensiled in laboratory silos at 25.degree. C for intervals up to 42 d. Results from the laboratory silos showed that the major increase in ammonia-N in silage occurred between 40 h and 7 d of fermentation; during this period, both formic acid and the inoculant produced a smaller increase in ammonia-N, than did the control. The pH of inoculated silage declined from 5.75 to 4.57 in 7 d, but it took 14 d for the pH of the control silage to fall below 5.0. Formic acid treatment immediately reduced the silage pH from 5.74 to 5.10 (P < 0.01); the pH then remained unchanged until 21 d, after which it decreased slightly. When compared with control, lambs fed formic acid-treated silage consumed more (P < 0.05) digestible organic matter; the response was associated with a trend towards decreased concentration of ammonia in plasma. Inoculation of lucerne silage did not (P > 0.05) affect voluntary intake but increased (P < 0.05) apparent digestibility of fibre and tended to increase N retention.

Effects of treating lucerne with an inoculum of lactic acid bacteria or formic acid upon chemical changes during fermentation and upon the nutritive value of the silage for lambs