Submitted to: Arkansas Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2012
Publication Date: 2/12/2013
Citation: Coffey, K.P., Coblentz, W.K., Young, A.N., Bertram, M.G., Carter, R. 2013. Digestibility by lambs offered alfalfa hay treated with a propionic acid hay preservative and baled at different concentrations of moisture. Arkansas Experiment Station Research Series. 15:71-73. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Eighteen crossbred wether lambs (76.1 ± 8.18 lb initial BW) were used for a 2 period digestion study to evaluate the effect of hay preservative concentration (0, 0.56, or 0.98% buffered propionic acid) and hay moisture concentration at baling (19.6, 23.8, or 27.4% moisture) on digestibility of alfalfa hay. Lambs were stratified by weight and allocated randomly such that two lambs each were offered one of the nine treatment combinations. Alfalfa hay was chopped (3”), then offered to lambs for 10 d of adaptation at 2.2% of BW on an as-fed basis in equal feedings at 0800 and 1700 h. Total feces were collected twice daily over a 7-d period to determine fecal output beginning on day 11. Lambs were allocated randomly to a different treatment in the second period. Digestibility was greatest (P < 0.05) from lambs offered hay baled at 19.6% moisture and treated with 0.56 % propionic acid, and those offered hay baled at 23.8% moisture and treated with 0.98% propionic acid. The lowest (P < 0.05) digestibilities were from hay baled at 23.8% moisture without preservative and those baled at 27.4% moisture with either concentration of preservative. Therefore, propionic acid was able to enhance digestibility of hay baled at a moderately excessive moisture concentration (23.8%) but not at excessive moisture (27.4%).