The voluntary intake and utilization of forage-concentrate diets by ewes in late pregnancy
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Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, 28040, Madrid, Spain
Estación Agrícola Experimental (CSIC), Aptdo 788. 24080 León, Spain
Publication date: 1994-09-23
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 1994;3(3):181-189
The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of concentrate intake on voluntary intake of forage by Churra ewes in late pregnancy. Three levels of concentrate (0, 300 and 600 g/day) with two hays available on an ad libitum basis (lucerne, DMD = 66.6 %) and pasture (DMD = 70.0%) were fed to 36 pregnant Churra ewes from day 110 of pregnancy until lambing. Ewes receiving roughage only had slightly higher intake of pasture hay than lucerne hay but when concentrate was fed, voluntary intake of lucerne tended to be higher. Offering more concentrate to the ewes reduced voluntary intake of hays with a greater decline for the pasture hay. As pregnancy progressed, hay intake increased and reached its maximum during the 18th week of pregnancy. Ewes within treatments showed similar total DM intake. A predictive equation may derive hay intake from hay digestibility, concentrate intake, ewe live weight and litter weight.
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