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Morning versus afternoon cutting time of Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) affects feed intake, milk yield and composition in Girgentana goats

  • Renato Italo Pagano (a1), Bernardo Valenti (a1), Anna De Angelis (a1), Marcella Avondo (a1) and Pietro Pennisi (a1)...

Abstract

Twenty lactating Girgentana goats were used to evaluate the effect of morning v. afternoon cutting time of Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) on feed intake, milk yield and milk composition. Goats were randomly divided into two groups of ten animals, receiving 10 kg of fresh Berseem clover cut at 9.00 (AM group) or 16.00 (PM group), respectively; 500 g of concentrate was given individually to goats before offering forage. Feed intake increased (P<0·01) in the PM group (30·5 v. 25·3 g dry matter/kg body weight), associated with the different nutrient content of diets: lower crude protein but higher dry matter, neutral detergent fibre, water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and total fatty acids in the PM-harvested forage. Milk production, protein and casein content were higher (P<0·05) in the PM group (1415 g/d, 3·25% and 2·42% v. 1277 g/d, 3·15% and 2·33%, respectively), whereas no differences between groups were detected for milk fat, lactose or urea content. Body weight slowly decreased from the start to the end of the experiment, without differences between groups. This study showed an important milk yield responses in Girgentana goats offered afternoon-cut compared with morning-cut Berseem clover, due to a marked increase in WSC in the afternoon-cut forage.

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*For correspondence; e-mail: mavondo@unict.it

References

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Keywords

Morning versus afternoon cutting time of Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) affects feed intake, milk yield and composition in Girgentana goats

  • Renato Italo Pagano (a1), Bernardo Valenti (a1), Anna De Angelis (a1), Marcella Avondo (a1) and Pietro Pennisi (a1)...

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