Palatability for cattle of four varieties of ryegrass Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xs55mg762

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  • This study was designed to determine the relative palatability of four varieties of ryegrass (Gulf, Ninak, Charleston and Billion) based on their relative consumption by cattle and to further evaluate the relationships between daily consumption and individual nutrient components of the grasses. Feedlot trials, chemical analyses for volatile and nonvolatile constituents and in vitro digestion trials were conducted to accomplish these objectives. The grasses were cut and chopped (when at a height of 20-30 cm) with a forage harvester and were then frozen until fed. The feedlot trials involved two-choice preference tests in which frozen green forages were fed to animals in a switchback design experiment. Animals were given a choice between the control grass (Gulf) and each of the other three grasses in trials conducted in two different years. The animals showed stronger preference for Ninak than for Gulf or Billion. Comparative consumptions of Gulf and Charleston were not significantly different (P .05). The results of the chemical analyses for nonvolatile constituents indicated that cell contents of the grasses gave the highest positive relationship with daily consumption while the dry matter and fiber contents gave the highest negative relationships. Volatile chemical constituents were analyzed by the use of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry procedures. The results suggested that Cis-hex-3-en-l-ol was one of the principal compounds responsible for the greater preference of Ninak. A positive correlation was noted between in vitro dry matter digestibility and consumption. The results of the in vitro studies also showed that the degree of crude protein degredation by rumen microbes did not differ as such from one grass to the other. Generally, the results of this study indicate that palatability of the various grasses was controlled by a combination of factors rather than a single factor and that chemical and nutrient components of plants can be used to study palatability only when they are considered in groups rather than on an individual basis.
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