Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science (PhD)
Kenneth P. Coffey
Second Committee Member
Mary Cathleen Savin
Third Committee Member
Wayne K. Coblentz
Fourth Committee Member
alfalfa silage, animal performance, dietary manipulation, environmental impact, lablab, nitrogen, ruminants, sericea lespedeza, sheep, sustainability, tannin
In the first experiment, alfalfa and novel endophyte-infected tall fescue (NE+) forages were harvested after a killing frost, then mixed to formulate 4 different treatments; alfalfa alone, 67% alfalfa +33% fescue, 33% alfalfa + 67% fescue, or 100% fescue. After 3 months of storage as silage, Dorper ewe lambs (n = 20; mean BW = 34.7 ± 6.65 kg) were fed silage for ad libitum consumption, using 5 animals per treatment. Increasing the proportion of NE+ tall fescue improved (P < 0.05) silage total acids and lactic acid concentrations and decreased silage ammonia concentration. Digestible dry matter and organic matter intake and nitrogen utilization parameters decreased with increasing inclusion of NE+ in diet. In the second experiment, 16 Dorper ewe lambs (41.8 ± 4.61 kg BW) were assigned to 4 different treatments; alfalfa silage alone (0 g/kg; CONT) or alfalfa silage mixed with chopped sericea lespedeza (SL) hay to provide 90 (LOW), 180 (MED), or 270 g/kg SL (HIGH) on a dry matter basis in a randomized complete block design experiment with 2 period to provide 4 observations per treatment for each experimental period. Increasing the proportion of sericea lespedeza in the diet decreased dry matter and organic matter digestibility but did not affect feed intake. Fecal nitrogen (g/kg N intake) increased linearly (P < 0.01) while urinary N (g/ day and g/ kg of N intake) tended to decreased linearly and quadratically (P ≤ 0.1) with increasing the proportion of SL in diet. In the third experiments, 16 gestating Dorper ewe lambs (49.1 ± 4.61 kg BW) were allocated to 4 treatments; alfalfa silage alone (0% g/kg; CONT) or alfalfa silage mixed with lablab purpureus(LP) hay to provide 90 (LOW), 180 (MED), or 270 g/kg LP (HIGH) on a dry matter (DM) basis, in a randomized complete block design experiment with a total 8 replication per treatment. Supplementation of LP in diet increased quadratically (P ≤ 0.04) forage dry matter, organic matter intake, digestible dry matter and digestible organic matter intake (P < 0.05). Nitrogen apparently absorbed and urinary N both decreased linearly (P < 0.01) with adding more LP hay in diet. Harvesting and mixing alfalfa and fescue after a killing frost improved silage fermentation characteristics and supplementation of tannins from SL and polyphenol from LP altered N excretion.
Key words: lablab, sericea lespedeza, alfalfa silage, nitrogen, sheep.
Niyigena, V. (2019). Strategies to Improve Forage Utilization by Sheep Offered Forage Mixtures. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/3515