Comparison of Chemical Composition and Rumen Degradation Kinetics of Three Forages: Whole Plant Barley, Whole Plant Foxtail Millet and Grass-Legume Hay

H. A. Lardner, R. Kumar, E. Darambazar, D. Damiran, J. J. McKinnon

Abstract


The objective of this study was to determine the chemical composition and in situ rumen degradability of whole plant barley (Hordeum vulgare), whole plant foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss)-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (grass-legume) hay, collected during a companion field grazing study. Relative to grass-legume hay, barley and millet were higher (P = 0.05) in crude protein (CP) and soluble CP, and lower (P = 0.02) in neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), lignin, neutral detergent insoluble CP, and acid detergent insoluble crude protein. The potentially undegradable fraction of CP averaged 32% lower for barley and millet, compared to grass-legume hay, while CP soluble fraction was 36 and 64% higher (P < 0.05) for barley and millet, respectively, than for grass-legume hay. Millet had the highest NDF degradability (P = 0.03) and grass-legume hay the least. Barley and millet had greater (P = 0.02) effective degradability of dry matter (DM), CP, and NDF than grass-legume hay. Millet had the highest (P = 0.01) degradable and lowest undegradable fractions of DM and NDF, and lowest soluble fraction of NDF and rate of CP degradation (P < 0.05). Results indicate that whole plant barley and millet have greater nutritive value than grass-legume hay and may be suitable annual forages for extensive grazing.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jas.v8n6p1

Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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