Submitted to: Sixth Edition of Forages, Volume II The Science of Grassland Agriculture
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2006
Publication Date: 2/15/2007
Citation: Cochran, R.C., Coblentz, W.K., Vanzant, E.S. 2007. Animal Methods for Evaluating Forage Quality. In: Barnes, R.F., Nelson, C.J., Moore, K.J., Collins, M. editors. Forages, The Science of Grassland Agriculture. Volume II, Sixth Edition. Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Publishing Professional. p. 541-552.
Technical Abstract: Numerous methods are available that employ animals in the assessment of forage quality. Some of these procedures provide information needed to address very specific goals (e.g., monitoring protein adequacy), some serve as useful contributors to the efforts to accurately predict nutritive value, whereas some are simply viewed as relative indicators of nutritive value. In all cases, it is helpful to be mindful of the fact that the fundamental goal in conducting any forage quality assay is to help define the ability of forage to support maintenance and production functions in ruminants. Although this is most accurately represented at present by NE values, the variety of other assays available can also serve a useful role in helping point us toward our fundamental endpoint.