The effect of abrupt and frequent changes in forage quality on nitrogen balance in crossbred steers fed napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and barley straw
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/51150
The effects on crossbred steer liveweight gain of alternating the same quantities of Napier grass and barley straw at five day intervals over a 40 day period was studied (Sanda et al, 1999. These animals lost significantly more weight (p<0.05) than animals on one and ten day frequencies of alternation and those receiving the same quantities of the two feeds mixed together at each meal. These responses could not be explained by differences in in vivo digestibility or intake. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that there are gradual changes in the rumen environment as animals adapt to the intake of a given forage and that, during this adaptive phase, nitrogen is not used efficiently, which could explain the poor performance. The main effect means (across 10-day period) for nitrogen intake, faecal and urine production, retention and apparent digestibility for animals adapting to Napier grass or barley straw is presented in a table.