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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2001;14(12): 1701-1704.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2001.1701    Published online December 1, 2001.
Evaluation of Structural Carbohydrates Losses and Digestibility in Alfalfa and Orchardgrass during Ensiling 1
M. S. Yahaya, A. Kimura, J. Harai, H. V. Nguyen, M. Kawai, J. Takahashi, S. Matsuoka
The evaluation of structural carbohydrate losses and its effect on silages digestibility in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) was studied during 5, 21 and 56 days ensiling. About 70 and 60 kg fresh matter of the two forages were ensiled in 9 silos of 120 L capacity. The digestion trials were conducted in two phases using the two grasses in two 4 4 Latin square design according to the four treatments being the grass and the three silages. There were no differences in the DM and CP contents resulting from 5 to 56 days ensiling in both forages. The water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), hemicelllose, pectin, and energy were slightly reduced and appeared lower in 56 days silage. The ether extract and cellulose contents slightly increased as the ensiling process advanced in the two species. Hemicellulose losses of 29 and 41 g/kg DM were obtained in alfalfa and orchardgrass, respectively, 56 days after ensiling. While the cellulose losses in both species were very little, compared to that for hemicellulose, the pectin losses, 56 days after ensiling were 15 and 12 g/kg DM in alfalfa and orchardgras respectively. The total structural carbohydrates lost (ie., hemicellulose + cellulose + pectin) in g/kg DM of fresh material forage ensiled, is about four fifths the amount lost by WSC, in alfalfa and about two thirds, in orchardgrass, by 21 days ensiling after the activity of microorganism terminated, indicating that appreciable amount was used as substrate for silage fermentation. Ensiling alfalfa and orchardgrass for 0, 5, 21 and 56 days maintained a decreasing trend of 83.8, 82.5, 79.3 and 78.9% digestibility in alfalfa and 80.5, 77.0, 77.1 and 76.4% digestibility in orchardgrass. While the digestibility of cellulose and ether extract increased in silage in both species, the digestible energy values in silage were reduced from 2.6 to 2.3 and 2.9 to 2.7 Mcal/kg DM respectively in alfalfa and orchard during 5-56 days ensiling.
Keywords: Alfalfa; Orchardgrass; Ensiling; Structural Carbohydrates; Digestibility
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