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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347038

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Effects of delayed wrapping and moisture content on intake and digestibility of ryegrass silage by growing lambs

Author
item Hays, M. - University Of Arkansas
item Coffey, K. - University Of Arkansas
item Beck, P. - University Of Arkansas
item Coblentz, Wayne
item Weiss, C. - University Of Arkansas
item Crook, T. - University Of Arkansas
item Philip, D. - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2018
Publication Date: 1/3/2018
Citation: Hays, M.A., Coffey, K.P., Beck, P.A., Coblentz, W.K., Weiss, C.P., Crook, T.S., Philip, D. 2018. Effects of delayed wrapping and moisture content on intake and digestibility of ryegrass silage by growing lambs. Journal of Animal Science. J. Anim. Sci. 96 (suppl. 1):31-32.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Baling silage provides an alternative method for preserving forage quality in areas where hay production can be compromised because of the risk of rain exposure and humidity. This study was conducted to examine the effects of moisture content at baling and delayed wrapping intervals on the intake and digestibility of ryegrass silage by lambs. Annual ryegrass was harvested from three field reps and baled when it reached either 74% moisture (WET) or 30% moisture (DRY), and then wrapped either the day of baling or 1, 2, or 3 d after baling. Sixteen ewe lambs (n=16; 24.9 ± 1.63 kg BW) were randomized to one of the 8 treatment combinations to provide 2 observations per treatment for each of 3 experimental periods. Lambs were re-randomized after each period, and were not assigned to the same treatment more than once. Prior to each period, silages were chopped, and packed into plastic-lined trash containers, and then offered ad libitum to each lamb housed in individual 1 × 1.5 m pens with plastic coated grate flooring. Each period consisted of a 10-d adaptation period followed by 7 d total fecal and urine collection. Dry matter intake (g/d, g/kg BW) and digestible DMI (g/d, g/kg BW) were greater for DRY than WET (P < 0.05). There was an interaction between silage moisture and time delay before wrapping for DM digestibility (P < 0.05). Digestibility of DRY wrapped on day1 was greater (P < 0.05) than that of WET wrapped on days 1, 2, or 3, and was lowest from WET wrapped on day 3. A cubic effect (P < 0.05) of time delay between baling and wrapping was observed (P < 0.05) for DMI (g/d, g/kg BW) and digestible DMI (g/d, g/kg BW). Generally intake of silage wrapped the day of baling was greatest, followed by a sharp decline in intake of silage wrapped on day 1. Intake of silage wrapped on day 2 was greater than that wrapped on day 1, and intake of silage wrapped on d3 was either similar or decreased below that of silage wrapped on day 2. Therefore, baling ryegrass at excessive moisture, and delaying wrapping moist ryegrass until the day following baling can have a negative effect on DM and digestible DM intake. The study was supported by the USDA-ARS specific cooperative agreement 58-3655-4-052.