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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Abdul Chaudhry
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A series of laboratory and animal studies examined the use of chemical and biological agents to enhance the digestibility of Rhodes grass (grass) cut at 60 (young) and 100 (mature) days of regrowth and ensiled as big round bales. The treatments included an untreated control (C), a microbial inoculant (1), NaOH, CaO and NaOH plus inoculant (NaOH + I). Inoculant was grown anaerobically, using a starter culture of rumen fluid from cattle given Rhodes grass. Treatments C, I, NaOH, NaOH + I, were offered separately to twelve dairy heifers, in a 3 × 4 randomized complete block design, repeated twice for each grass silage. C and I had substantial mould growth, compared with no visible mould in NaOH or NaOH + I. CaO treatment was effective in preventing mould growth, but had little effect on the chemical composition and in sacco digestibility of mature grass silage. NaOH reduced NDF content and increased in sacco digestibility (P < 0.05) but not the in vivo digestibility (P > 0.05) of both mature- and young-grass silage. The effects of other treatments on nutritive value were non-significant at both stages of maturity. NaOH increased the intake of mature-grass silage by 24-26% (P < 0.05), but had little effect on the intake of young-grass silage (P > 0.05). Treatment I consistently reduced grass silage intake (P < 0.05) for young-grass silage. The findings of these studies show that treating mature Rhodes grass with NaOH will improve its nutritive value and reduce mould growth in conserved herbage. However none of the treatments in this study had any consistently positive effects on the in vivo nutritive value or storage quality of young-grass silage. © 2001 British Society of Animal Science.
Author(s): Chaudhry AS, Cowan RT, Granzin BC, Klieve AV
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Animal Science
Print publication date: 01/01/2001
ISSN (print): 1357-7298
ISSN (electronic): 1748-748X
Publisher: Cambridge University Press