Use of the comparative slaughter technique to estimate the nutritive value of pasture for hoggets

Use of the comparative slaughter technique to estimate the nutritive value of pasture for hoggets
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Fresh white clover and perennial ryegrass, both of similar levels of digestibility, were fed either on ad libitum or restricted basis to wether hoggets over a l00-day period in autumn, 1966. The comparative slaughter technique was used to measure net energy values of each feed. White clover tended to be higher in crude protein and water-soluble sugar content and lower in cellulose and hemicellulose than perennial ryegrass. Sheep on ad libitum feeding of white clover ate 34% more crude protein and gross energy than similar sheep fed perennial ryegrass. Liveweight gains were higher for sheep fed white clover but this was only partly related to the level of digestible organic matter intake. Both energy and nitrogen retentions were greater for sheep fed white clover at high levels of food intake than for perennial ryegrass but differences in energy retention between the two feeds disappeared at feeding levels approximating to maintenance. These results are discussed in relation to present-day knowledge of rumen metabolism.

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