Previous experiments (Osafo, Owen, Said, Gill & McAllan, 1992), investigated the possibility of using low-input technology to improve intake of sorghum stover in sheep and cattle. Physical form of stover influenced intake differently in sheep and cattle; chopping stover increased intake in sheep but decreased intake in cattle.
In an earlier experiment in the same research project, Aboud, Owen, Reed, & McAllan (1990) offered sheep, chopped stovers from bird-resistant (BR) and non bird-resistant (NBR) sorghum. It was hypothesised that intake of BR stover would be lower on account of its higher content of anti-nutritional, polyphenolic compounds. The results were contrary to expectation. The higher leaf:stem in the BR stover was thought to counteract the anti-nutritional factors and account for the higher intake and growth with BR stover. In view of the differences in leaf-plus-sheath:stem ratios between the BR and NBR stovers, the experiment was considered inconclusive. Also the fact that the stovers were supplemented with cottonseed meal may have alleviated any detrimental effect of feeding NBR stover.