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Effects of legume silages on the quantity and particle size distribution of rumen contents in Holstein-Friesian cows

  • R. J. Dewhurst (a1), R. J. Merry (a1), D. R. Davies (a1), J. M. Moorby (a1), N. D. Scollan (a1), M. A. Neville (a2) and D. H. Baker (a2)...

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Poor animal performance associated with low digestibility silages results partly from the reduced nutrient yield per unit intake, but also from the associated lower intakes which were presumed to be a consequence of rumen fill effects. Legume silages have a lower average digestibility than grass silages, and yet often have higher intake characteristics. The objective of this work was to compare rumen fill and rumen particle size distribution for animals fed grass silage or legume silage-based diets.

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Dewhurst, R. J., Davies, D. W. R., Fisher, W. J., Bertilsson, J. and Wilkins, R. J. 2000. Intake and milk production responses to legume silages offered to Holstein-Friesian cows. This Meeting.
Waghorn, G. C., Shelton, I. D. and Thomas, V. J. 1989. Particle breakdown and rumen digestion of fresh ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) fed to cows during a restricted feeding period. British Journal of Nutrition 61: 409423.

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