Effects of physical form and alkali treatment of maize grain supplements on hay intake and utilization by steers

Author: H.H. Meissner, L,H.P. Liebenberg, J.P.Pienaar, A.B. van Zyl & B. Botha
Year: 1982
Issue: 2
Volume: 12
Page: 119 - 127

It has often been proposed that the physical form of the grain supplement could affect the intake and utilization of forages. Suppression of forage intake i)r poor utilization appears to be a function of high fermentation rate which could be altered by manipulation of the physical form of the grain supplement. In this study fermentation rate of maize grain was altered by using whole kernels, NaOH treated whole kernels, grain particles of about 600 μ and conventional ground maize (300 to 600 μ particles). These supplements were fed between 0,7 to 5,6kg/head/day to steers consuming Eragrostis curvula hay ad lib. Roughage intake exhibited a linear decline as the supplement increased with no evidence of a differential effect due to physical form of the supplement .Thus, different fermentation rates of the supplements were apparently not responsible for the suppression of intake of E. curvula hay. Growth and feed conversion figures ranked more or less according, to the apparent digestibilities of the maize supplements which were calculated as 58, 78,75 and 89% DOM for the whole kernels, NaOH treated whole kernels,600 μ particles and ground maize respectively. The NaOH treatment appeared to have been utilized slightly poorer than what would have been expected. The results differ from other work in the literature. This could have been due to the difference in type of cereal and or roughage used.

Keywords: grain supplement, hay intake performance
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