Voluntary intake digestibility and selection of Matua bromegrass, Coastal bermudagrass, and alfalfa hay by yearling horses

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Title: Voluntary intake digestibility and selection of Matua bromegrass, Coastal bermudagrass, and alfalfa hay by yearling horses
Author: LaCasha, Patricia Ann
Abstract: Matua bromegrass [Bromus unioloides (Willd . ) H .B . K . cv . Grasslands Matua] was introduced in 1973 , but little information exists concerning its potential as a hay for horses . Thus , voluntary intake and apparent digestibility of DM , CP , and fiber components of Matua bromegrass by 18 Quarter Horse yearlings (mean initial BW 354 kg ; SE 5 .8 ) were compared with two commonly used forages in the horse industry , alfalfa {Medicago saliva L . ) and Coastal bermudagrass {Cynodon dactylon L . ) as hays in a randomized block design . A 15 -d adjustment period was followed by a 5 -d collection period during which the hays were fed ad libitum . Alfalfa was higher in CP concentration than either of the grass hays , and CP concentration was greater for Matua bromegrass than Coastal bermudagrass (20 .1 , 13 .2 , and 11 .9 % , respectively ) . Intake of DM , organic matter , and DDM were greater (P < .01 ) for alfalfa than for the mean of the grasses expressed as kg /d and g /kg BW^^ while intake of Matua was higher {P < .001 ) than bermudagrass . Numerical differences in intake between alfalfa and Matua were small ( .2 % BW ) . Apparent digestibility of OM was greater (P < .001 ) for alfalfa (72 .5 % ) than for the mean of the grasses but did not differ between Matua (62 .0 % ) and bermudagrass (58 .2 % ) . The apparent digestibility of CP was higher {P < .001 ) for alfalfa than for the mean of the grasses , and CP digestibility of Matua was greater {P < .001 ) than bermudagrass . At the end of the digestion trial , each yearling was offered each of the three forage hays during an 1 l -d selection trial . Total intake of forage during the selection trial was not influenced by previous forage fed (mean 9 .2 kg /d ; SE . 1 ) . During the selection trial , yearhngs consumed less of the forage species to which they had been previously exposed relative to the other treatment groups . However , the degree of difference changed over time (day x previous forage experience interaction ; P < .01 ) . Yearlings preferred alfalfa over the grass hays and generally selected more Matua than bermudagrass . These data indicated that Matua is an acceptable hay for horses with intake potential approaching that of alfalfa .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20855
Date: 1997-12

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Voluntary intake digestibility and selection of Matua bromegrass, Coastal bermudagrass, and alfalfa hay by yearling horses. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20855 .

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