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Preference by sheep and goats among hay of eight tall fescue cultivars

La Preferencia de las Ovejas y Cabras entre Heno de Ocho Cultivares de Grama Alta

Burns, J.C. and Fisher, D.S. and Mayland, H.F. (2001) Preference by sheep and goats among hay of eight tall fescue cultivars. Journal of Animal Science. 79:213-224.


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Grazing ruminants use both visual cues and taste in selecting their diet. Preference during grazing may not be the same when forage is dried for hay and cut into lengths prior to feeding in confinement. Eight cultivars of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), previously evaluated for preference while grazed, were harvested three times over a period of 2 yr. The hays were air-dried, baled, and passed through a hydraulic bale processor prior to feeding. Five experiments were conducted. All three harvests were evaluated with sheep and the last two also with goats, using six animals each time. During an adaptation phase, hays were offered alone as meals. In the experimental phase, every possible pair of hays (28 pairs) was presented for a meal. Data were analyzed by multidimensional scaling and by traditional analyses. Preference was significant among cultivars in all experiments. Multidimensional scaling showed that selection was based on two criteria with two dimensions being significant. Sheep preferred KENHY followed by KENTUCKY 31 and STARGRAZER but preferenced against BARCEL. HIMAG, MO-96, and C1 were intermediate and MOZARK was variable. Goats were similar to sheep in preferring KENHY followed by STARGRAZER and selected against MOZARK and BARCEL. KENTUCKY 31, HIMAG, MO-96, and Cl were intermediate. In all five experiments, the general association was positive for available carbohydrate fractions and negative for fiber fractions that contribute to cell wall rigidity.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1026
Subjects: Animal > Feed preference
Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Animal preference
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:50
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 18:59
Item ID: 114

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