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The voluntary intake and utilization of roughage–concentrate diets by sheep. 1. Concentrate supplements for hay and straw

  • J. R. Crabtree (a1) and G. L. Williams (a1)

Summary

Four levels of a proprietary concentrate (0, 100, 200 and 400 g/day) were offered to Welsh Mountain ewe lambs receiving hay or straw ad libitum for 14 weeks. The apparent digestibility of the energy and nitrogen in the various diets was determined in a concurrent digestibility trial.

The voluntary intakes of the straw and hay dry matter when given alone were 242 and 451 g/day respectively (28·4 and 49·2 g/kg W0·73 per day). Straw intake increased with an increase in concentrate feeding up to a level of 25% concentrate in the total dry matter and then declined. Hay intake declined linearly with increasing concentrate level (3 g/day decline per unit increase in the percentage of concentrate). In each case the total intake of dry matter and digestible energy increased with an increase in concentrate level.

There was a positive within-treatment relationship between initial live weight and voluntary intake, an additional 0·019 Meal ME/day being consumed per kg increase in live weight. Within treatment groups lambs consuming relatively more food also made relatively higher weight gains. Estimates based on published standards of the metabolizable energy intakes required to produce the live weight changes observed on each treatment were considerably higher than the intakes recorded in the trial.

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References

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The voluntary intake and utilization of roughage–concentrate diets by sheep. 1. Concentrate supplements for hay and straw

  • J. R. Crabtree (a1) and G. L. Williams (a1)

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