Voluntary intake and quality of diet selected by cattle grazing bana grass, kikuyu and forage sorghum

Author: H.H. Köster, H.H. Meissner, R.J. Coertze and N.F.G. Rethman
Year: 1992
Issue: 1
Volume: 22
Page: 35 - 41

Bana grass (Pennisetum purpureum x P. amerieanum) was compared with kikuyu (P. clandestinum) and forage


sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) with respect to quality of samples ;elected by four oesophageally fistulated steers. Hand-cut samples of the three forages were also compared with fistula samples for certain quality parameters. No significant difference (P ≥ 0,05) was found between IVDOM and N content of hand-cut and fistula samples, but ADF and NDF values differed significantly (P ≤0,01). Grazing significantly (P ≤0,05) reduced the leaf: stem ratio of the pastures. Changes in this ratio were, however, not consistent among the different species over different periods. Kikuyu contained more N throughout the growing season than bana grass or sorghum (P ≤0,01), while the IVDOM of sorghum was less (P ≤0,01) than that of bana grass and kikuyu. Seasonal trends were significant on occasions. Kikuyu contained less cell wall (NDF) (P ≤0,05) than bana grass and sorghum but the disappearance of NDF from nylon bags only differed significantly between kikuyu and sorghum. Organic matter intake (faeces voided measured by faecal bags) was consistently in the order of bana grass > sorghum > kikuyu, with a significant (P ≤0,05) difference between bana grass and kikuyu. It was concluded that the general assumption in the literature that hybrid Pennisetum species based on Napier are soft and palatable, may be true for bana grass as well.


Keywords: Bana grass, digestibility, intake, kikuyu, leaf:stem ratio, oesophageal fistula samples, sorghum




Keywords: Bana grass, digestibility, intake, Kikuyu, leaf:stem ratio, oesophageal fistula samples, Sorghum
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