Location: Forage and Livestock Production ResearchTitle: Determining dry matter intake of annual and perennial cool-season grasses harvested as high moisture hay and fed to lambs Author
Submitted to: Research Day Abstracts: Regional Universities Research Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2010
Publication Date: 11/15/2010
Citation: Tuthill, C.K., Gorycza, J.T., Phillips, W.A., Northup, B.K. 2010. Determining dry matter intake of annual and perennial cool-season grasses harvested as high moisture hay and fed to lambs. Research Day Abstracts: Regional Universities Research Day. (5):2-5. Interpretive Summary: Abtract only.
Technical Abstract: Oklahoma cattle producers have looked to winter wheat, which is the major annual cool-season grass grown in Oklahoma, for body weight gains in the fall and winter as a means of economic diversification. But winter wheat is an annual crop and must be established each year. New types of perennial cool-season grasses, especially fescues, offer a perennial forage resource for grazing. In previous studies, animal performance was lower when perennial cool-season grasses were consumed as compared to winter wheat. We hypothesis that dry matter intake of perennial cool-season grasses is less that for annual cool-season grasses and could explain the differences observed in animal performance. The objective of the present experiment was to determine dry matter intake of winter wheat (Triticulm aestivum Var. Pioneer 2174) and fescue (Festuca arundianaceace Var. Nanyro). Lambs (body weight = 36.1 ± 1.93 kg) were used in a switch-back design to determine dry matter intake over two 14-d periods. Dry matter intake of fescue hay was 1001 g/d, which was greater than (P < 0.05) intake of wheat hay (901 g/d). We conclude that differences in performance of ruminants fed wheat or fescue hay maybe due to nutrient digestibility rather than dry matter intake. Improving animal production from perennial cool-season grasses can decrease the amount of methane produced per kg of product and minimize the negative impact of grazing livestock on the environment.