The effect of wilting and drying on intake rate and acceptability by sheep of the shrub legume Cratylia argentea
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44166
A series of feeding trials with sheep were carried out at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical in Colombia to assess the effect of wilting and drying on intake rate and acceptability of the shrub legume Cratylia argentea (Desvaux) O. Kuntze. In the first 2 experiments, intake rate was measured in periods of 20 minutes with sheep fed immature and mature legume either fresh, wilted or sun-dried. Relative acceptability of fresh and dried, immature and mature C. argentea was measured in 2 subsequent experiments with sheep of different age and previous experience with the legume. The test forages were offered separately in pairs for periods of 20 minutes and relative acceptability was defined as the short-term intake of fresh and dried forage corrected for metabolic weight of the animals. Intake rate of C. argentea was affected by post-harvest treatment when the legume was immature, but not when it was mature. With immature C. argentea, intake rate was higher when the forage was wilted and dried than when fed fresh. When sheep were given the choice of selecting fresh or dried C. argentea, they consumed more dried forage, regardless of maturity, age of the animals and previous experience with the forage. Factors responsible for low intake rate and acceptability of fresh, immature C. argentea could not be defined in this study.