The Nutritive Value of Pressure-Steamed Aspen (Populus Tremuloides) for Mature Sheep

Sharma, H.R.; Forsberg, N.E.; Guenter, W.

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 59(2): 303-312


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-3984
DOI: 10.4141/cjas79-036
Accession: 068493115

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Four rumen-fistulated sheep, 62 kg average body weight (BW), were assigned four pelleted diets containing 0 (control), 15, 30 and 45% steam-processed aspen (SPA) in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. All diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous to the control diet which contained 45% ground alfalfa hay as a roughage source. Intake of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fiber (CF) and gross energy (GE) per kg BW0.75 were not affected (P > 0.05) by addition of Spa to pelleted sheep diets. However, digestible energy (DE) consumption apparently decreased with Spa diets. Apparent digestibilities of Dm and Ge significantly (P   0.05) among the four treatments. Ruminal p H for all treatments fell rapidly within 1 h post feeding and remained low to 12 h, whereas ammonia (NH3) levels were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated for all aspen-fed animals, from 1 h through 12 h post feeding. Total Vfa concentrations and molar concentrations of acetic, propionic and butyric acids in ruminal fluid were comparatively lower for sheep fed the 45% Spa diet versus those receiving the other treatments. Blood serum glucose concentration was significantly (P < 0.05) depressed when 45% Spa was fed to mature sheep.