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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Supplementation of Hay and Silage Preservation Experiments with Individual Voluntary Intake and Digestibility Measurements in Sheep

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Project Number: 5090-12630-005-10-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2014
End Date: Aug 31, 2019

Our objective is forage preservation treatments (inoculants, preservatives, baling or ensiling techniques, etc.) which can be evaluated for efficacy with a goal of maximizing the retention of nutrients within preserved hays and silages; a critical supporting aspect of these evaluations are individual animal measurements of voluntary intake, digestibility, fecal output, and nutrient retention (primarily within growing lambs) that will be conducted by the cooperator.

Forage preservation techniques will be evaluated within field research trials at Marshfield, WI with particular emphasis on retention of nutrients throughout storage periods lasting 6 to 9 months. Preservation techniques may include the use of acid preservatives, inoculants, or other strategies applied to forages conserved as precision-chopped silage, balage, or dry hay. Such evaluations generally do not produce quantities of experimental forages adequate for large-scale feeding trials. Therefore, individual animal measurements of voluntary intake, total-tract digestibility, fecal output, and nutrient retention are important components of establishing the efficacy of each forage preservation treatment. Preserved hays or silages will be shipped to the university cooperator, where these individual animal assessments will be conducted, primarily within growing lambs.

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
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