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Title

Effect of a mixed silage of king grass (Cenchrus purpureus) and forage legumes (Leucaena leucocephala or Gliricidia sepium) on sheep intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance

AuthorsSantana, A. A.; Cheng, L.; Verdecia, D. M.; Ramírez, J. L.; López, Secundino ; Cisneros, M. V.; Rugoho, I.; Maxwell, T. M. R.; Al-Marashdeh, O
KeywordsDigestion
Nitrogen utilisation
Tropical legume
Urinary nitrogen
Issue Date2019
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
CitationAnimal Production Science 59: 2259- 2264 (2019)
AbstractEnsiled king grass (Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone) is commonly used as feed in tropical ruminant production. However, ruminant performance can be limited by low nitrogen (N) content in tropical grass silage. A mixed feed of legume–king grass silage may be an option to improve ruminant production. We investigated the effects of feeding an ensiled mixture of king grass forage and foliage of a browse tree legume, either leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit) or gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Walp), on dry matter (DM) intake, DM digestibility, organic matter (OM) digestibility and N balance of Pelibuey sheep. Twelve male lambs 9–11 months old were blocked by initial bodyweight (33 ± 3 kg, mean ± s.d.) into three groups of four lambs and randomly assigned to one of three feed treatments: king grass silage (KS); mixed king grass and leucaena silage (KLS); and mixed king grass and gliricidia silage (KGS). Results showed that DM and OM were similar among silages. The N content was higher (P < 0.001) in KLS and KGS than in KS. DM intake and DM digestibility were higher (P < 0.001) in KLS and KGS than in KS. OM digestibility was higher (P < 0.001) in KLS than in KS. Nitrogen intake, faecal N, urine volume, urinary N, digested N, N digestibility, N retention and retained N : N intake ratio from KLS and KGS treatments were higher (P < 0.05) than from KS. A lower (P < 0.01) urinary N : N intake ratio was detected from KGS and KLS than from KS. This study demonstrated that, compared with silage made from king grass alone, legume–king grass silage mixtures can improve intake and nutrient digestibility in Pelibuey lambs. Further, N retention can be enhanced when legume–king grass silages are used as feed compared with king grass silage alone.
Description7 páginas, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN18559
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/213003
Identifiersdoi: 10.1071/AN18559
issn: 1836-0939
e-issn: 1836-5787
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Artículos
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