Frequency of feeding and form of lucerne hay as factors affecting voluntary intake, digestibility, feeding behaviour, and marker kinetics in ewes

A. De Vega, J. Gasa, J. A. Guada, C. Castrillo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The effects of the form (chopped or ground and pelleted) of a lucerne hay, and its frequency of feeding (once daily with restricted access, twice daily, or once every 2 h) on voluntary intake, digestibility, feeding behaviour, and marker kinetics was studied on 12 Rasa Aragonesa ewe lambs. The results showed that differences between animals fed twice daily or continuously were small and only found in intake and feeding behaviour, whereas feeding once daily with restricted access to the meal resulted in a much lower dry matter and digestible organic matter intake, which in turn affected significantly both the feeding behaviour of the animals and the total mean retention time of liquid and solid markers, but did not influence digestibility coefficients. It is concluded that continuous feeding does not seem to be necessary when studies on marker kinetics based on faecal marker excretion curves are carried out in sheep fed at intake levels close to ad libitum. Grinding and pelleting resulted in a higher dry matter intake and a reduction in organic matter digestibility, which resulted in a higher digestible organic matter intake. Feeding behaviour and rate of passage of Co-EDTA were also affected, although Cr did not show any tendency to pass faster when attached to the pelleted diet.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)801-809
    JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural Research
    Volume51
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

    Keywords

    • Diet form
    • Rate of passage
    • Sheep

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