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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(6): 925-932.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.925    Published online May 2, 2007.
Intake and Digestive Processes in the Rumen of Rams Fed with Digitaria decumbens Harvested at Four Stages of Grass Regrowth Age
C. Assoumaya, M. Boval, D. Sauvant, A. Xand챕, C. Poncet, H. Archim챔de*
Correspondence:  H. Archim챔de,
Abstract
This study was designed to measure the effect of regrowth age of Digitaria decumbens (D. decumbens) on the intake and dynamics of digesta in the rumen of rams. Six Black-belly rams (mean liveweight: 51.6 (s.d. 0.68) kg) fitted with rumen cannulae were fed twice daily a 14-, 28-, 42- and 56-day old fresh D. decumbens successively for 4 experimental periods. The daily dry matter intake decreased curvilineary from 75.2 to 48.5 (s.e. 2.0) g/kg BW0.75 as the age of the D. decumbens grass increased from 14 to 56 days. Dry matter intake for the first 3 h after the morning meal was 863.6, 598.3, 576.4 and 401.5 (s.e. 55.6) g for the 14-, 28-, 42- and 56-day old grasses respectively. The pool of NDF in the rumen at the end of the 3-h feeding period did not vary significantly among the four diets. Twelve hours after the beginning of the morning meal, the pool of NDF increased with the forage regrowth age. Within the total pool of NDF, the pool of large particles tended to increase with the regrowth age. It was concluded that high intake was associated with fast evacuation of NDF from the rumen. Moreover, digestion (cellulolysis) rate and degree of particle reduction by rumination are highly correlated, though speed of physical degradation of forage seems to be the driving force behind intake.
Keywords: Digitaria decumbens; Intake; Rumen Digestion
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