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Effect of Frequency of Meals on Intake and Digestion of Tropical Grass Consumed by Rams
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Effect of Frequency of Meals on Intake and Digestion of Tropical Grass Consumed by Rams
Assoumaya, C.; Sauvant, D.; Pommier, F.; Boval, M.; Calif, B.; Archimede, H.;
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Eight Black Belly rams (45.2 kg) fitted with permanent ruminal cannulae were used in a 22 factorial design to determine the effects of feeding frequency and regrowth age on intake and digestion. Rams were fed with 21- or 35-day old fresh pangola grass offered ad libitum two or four times a day. Irrespective of the regrowth age, there was a tendency for intake to be positively correlated with increase in meal frequency. Differences were not significant (p>0.25). Significant effects of meal frequency were observed in NDF and ADF total tract digestibility of the 35-day grass which decreased as the number of meals increased. Meal frequency had no visible effect on feeding behaviour. Total rumen content increased when animals were fed twice a day as opposed to four times a day. Similarly, an accumulation of small and very small particles was observed in the rumen of rams fed twice a day in comparison with those fed four times a day. These results suggest that studies of digestive dynamics performed at a steady state are not representative of the rumen loading observed in farm rams which have two important peaks of meal.
Tropical Forage;Intake;Digestive Dynamics;Sheep;
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