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Variation in ruminants' preference for tall fescue hays cut either at sundown or at sunup

Fisher, Dwight S. and Mayland, Henry F. and Burns, Joseph C. (1999) Variation in ruminants' preference for tall fescue hays cut either at sundown or at sunup. Journal of Animal Science. 77:762-768.

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Abstract

Plants vary diurnally in concentrations of nonstructural carbohydrates. If ruminants prefer forages with higher total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC), then the preference for hays harvested within the same 24-h period may vary. An established field of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) was harvested six times in the vegetative stage. Harvests were paired such that each cutting at sundown (P M) was followed by a cutting the next morning at sunup (AM). We harvested in this manner three times, resulting in six hays. The hays were field-dried, baled, and passed through a hydraulic bale processor prior to feeding. Experiments were conducted with sheep, goats, and cattle, using six animals in each case. During an adaptation phase, hays were offered alone as meals. In the experimental phase, every possible pair of hays (15 pairs) was presented for a meal. Data were analyzed by multidimensional scaling and by traditional analyses. Multidimensional scaling indicated that selection was based on a single criterion. Preference for PM hays was greater than for AM hays (P < .01) in all experiments. Increased preference was associated with increased TNC (P < .01) and in vitro true DM disappearance (P < .01) and decreased fiber concentration (P < .01; NDF, ADF, cellulose, and ADL). Mowing hay late in the day was effective in increasing forage preference.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0984
Subjects: Animal > Feed preference
Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Time-of-day harvest difference
Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Animal preference
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:54
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 16:04
Item ID: 710
URI: https://eprints.nwisrl.ars.usda.gov/id/eprint/710

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