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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING ALFALFA AND OTHER FORAGE CROPS FOR BIOENERGY, LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: The effect of soaking on protein and mineral loss in orchardgrass and alfalfa hays

Authors
item Martinson, Krishona -
item Sheaffer, Craig -
item Hathaway, Marcia -
item Jung, Hans Joachim

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2011
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Martinson, K., Sheaffer, C.C., Hathaway, M., Jung, H.G. 2012. The effect of soaking on protein and mineral loss in orchardgrass and alfalfa hays [abstract]. 45th American Dairy Science Association/American Society of Animal Science Annual Midwest Meeting, March 19-21, 2012, Des Moines, Iowa. Journal of Animal Science. 90(Suppl. 2):52.

Technical Abstract: Soaking hay is a common strategy used to manage some diseased horses. Although certain nutrients such as nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) are targeted during soaking, other essential nutrients may be inadvertently lost. The objectives of this research were to determine impact of water temperature and time of soaking on removal of protein and macro-minerals from legume and cool-season grass hays. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with six replications. Hay types included bud and flowering alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and vegetative and flowering orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata). Flakes were submerged for 15, 30, and 60 minutes in 25 liters of cold (22 degrees C) and warm (39 degrees C) water and 12 hours in cold water. Changes in crude protein (CP) concentration after soaking had no effect (P > 0.05) on alfalfa bud or flowering orchardgrass hays, increased (P = 0.02) as soaking length increased in vegetative orchardgrass hay, and decreased as soaking length increased (P < 0.001) in flowering alfalfa hay. Soaking did not affect (P > 0.05) Ca concentrations in flowering alfalfa and orchardgrass hays but resulted in a reduction of Ca (P < 0.001) as soaking length increased in alfalfa bud and vegetative orchardgrass hays. A reduction in phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations were observed in hays with longer soaking times resulting in greater mineral losses (P < 0.001). Nutrient deficiencies were not observed after feeding hays soaked for 15 to 60 minutes to a 500 kg horse in light work. However, supplementation of P after feeding hay soaked for 12 hours was necessary to address high Ca:P ratios.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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