Main content area

Effect of shredding alfalfa on cellulolytic activity, digestibility, rate of passage, and milk production

Hong, B.J., Broderick, G.A., Koegel, R.G., Shinners, K.J., Straub, R.J.
Journal of dairy science 1988 v.71 no.6 pp. 1546
goats, sheep, alfalfa, chopping, rumen microorganisms, digestibility, weight gain, milk production
A series of trials was performed with sheep and goats to compare mechanically shredded with conventionally (control) harvested alfalfa hay. Shredded hay tended to contain less CP and more cell wall constituents than the control; digestibility of NDF in vitro also was increased by shredding. Intake of DM and digestibilities of NDF and ADF were increased in sheep fed shredded hay. Digestibilities of DM and CP were similar between treatments. Total tract digestibilities determined using aid detergent lignin and Yb as internal and external markers were similar to those obtained by total collection. There was no effect of shredding on rate of passage and total mean retention time of hay in the digestive tract of sheep. Ruminal pH and VFA were not altered by shredding of hay. However, production of 4% FCM and milk protein content was increased in goats fed shredded hay. Shredded hay suspended in the rumen in situ had higher particle-associated carboxymethylcellulase activity throughout the incubation period than did control hay. The enzyme activity was maximal at 6 h and declined thereafter for both hays. The pattern of particle-associated carboxymethylcellulase activity was similar to that of NDF digestion in vitro.