Forage yields and feeding value of small grain winter cereals for lambs
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Gurhan Keles, Serkan Ates, Behic Coskun, Mustafa Selcuk Alatas, Saban Isik. (11/1/2016). Forage yields and feeding value of small grain winter cereals for lambs. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96, pp. 4168-4177.
BACKGROUND: An understanding of the dynamics that affect the nutrient content of forages with advancing growth stages is critical for designing equally dynamic feeding programmes. This study compared the agronomic characteristic and feeding values of forages frombarley, rye,wheat, oats and triticaleweekly fromtillering (Z 24–25) todoughstages ofmaturity (Z 83–87). RESULT: Digestible dry matter yield of cereal species increased rapidly (P<0.05) from 1.9 t ha−1 at tillering to 7.8 t ha−1 at ear emergence (Z 50–55) and remained stable (P>0.05) until the dough stagewhen it increased to 10.4 t ha−1. The nutritive quality of cereal species decreased with advancinggrowth stages, and thiswasmore pronounced in barley and rye with rapid reductions in their energy and digestibility values. Changes in the nutritive value of cereal forages indicated a strong relationship (P<0.05) with the leaf–stem ratio of the plants. The animal response reflected the changes in feeding value of cereal species with advancing growth stages. The average live weight gain of lambs decreased (P<0.05) from an average of 203 g d−1 on 2 May to 142 g d−1 on the 13 June. CONCLUSION: Wheat and oats, and to a lesser extent triticale, provided higher quality forages than barley and rye. All cereal species had poor feeding qualities between ear emergence and milk stages (Z 71–75). © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry