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Luginbuhl, J.M. Johnson, W.L.

Coastal bermudagrass and tall fescue intake and digestibility by goats, sheep and steers Proceedings - Scottsdale, AZ (EUA) 1982 - p. 280

Sólo Sum. (En)

Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L) Pers.) harvested at 7 and 12 weeks of age (C7 and C12) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) havested at 6 and 9 weeks (F6 and F9) were fed as hays, ad libitum, to young goats (Toggenburg) and sheep (¢ Suffolk, + Barbados blackbelly) wethers in a latin square design. F6 and F9 were also fed to Holstein steers in a single-reversal design. Initial weights (W) of the goats, sheep and steers were 17.9, 30.0 and 182 kg. Within animal species the plant maturity effect was negative for dry matter intake (DMI, g/day per W 0.75) as follows: goats 82 (C7), 74 (C12), P less than 0.05; 74 (F6), 69 (F9), P less than 0.05; sheep 64 (C7), 52 (C12), P less than 0.01; 58 (F6), 55 (F9), P less than 0.05; steers 89 (F6), 79 (F9), P less than 0.05. Plant maturity effect was also negative and highly significant (P less than 0.01) for apparent dry matter digestibility (DMD, percentage): goats 56 (C7), 49 (C12), 60 (F6), 53 (F9); sheep 63 (C7), 56 (C12), 63 (F6), 59 (F9); steers 65 (F6), 59 (F9) (P less than 0.05). Comparing goats with sheep, overall treatment means were higher for DMI (P less than 0.05) and lower for DMD (P less than 0.01). Comparisons with steers could not be analized statistically. However, the steers tended to be equal to sheep and higher than goats for DMD; for DMI the ranking was steers (highest), goats, and sheep. It is evident that rumen function is not identical in the three ruminant species studied; future research should be designed to examine elucidating mechanisms in more detail