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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Digestibility of Freshly Harvested, Ensiled and Mature Kenaf by Sheep

Authors
item Phillips, William
item Rao, Srinivas
item Von Tungeln, David
item Fitch, Gerald - OSU

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Lambs were used in three experiments in a completely randomized design to determine the digestibility of the following; 1) kenaf tops harvested from mature kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) plants after a frost, grounded and added as 10% of the diet, 2) whole plant kenaf harvested fresh daily and fed as the only dietary component, and 3) whole plant kenaf silage fed ad libitum with two levels of energy supplementation. The nitrogen (N) concentration in mature kenaf tops varied (P<.01) among the three varieties tested, but neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) concentrations were not (P>.10) different among varieties. Adding kenaf tops at 10% of the basal diet did affect (P<.01) fiber digestion and N retention, but the effect was dependent upon variety. Lambs consumed only the leaf and immature stalk portion of freshly harvested kenaf, which were low in fiber and high in N concentration. The digestibility of the NDF, ADF, N and dry matter (DM) consumed were 69.9%, 66.7%, 91.9% and 82.4%, respectively. Lambs readily consumed kenaf silage, and diets based on kenaf silage had higher (P<.01) N digestibility, but lower (P<.01) N retention values than diets based on sorghum silage. The N in kenaf silage is very soluble and rapidly digested. Kenaf tops and whole plant kenaf was readily consumed by lambs and could be used as a moderately digestible forage source in ruminant diets.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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