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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1995;8(3): 281-287.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1995.281    Published online June 1, 1995.
Partial replacement of grass silage with whole-crop cereal silage for growing beef cattle
S. H. Raza, P. Rowlinson
A study was conducted to investigate the effect of different inclusion levels of urea treated whole-crop wheat silage(UWCWS) in grass silage based rations on the performance of growing beef cattle. The winter wheat (variety, Riband) was harvested(in the summer of 1991) at a dry matter proportion of 520 g/kg and treated with feed grade urea at the rate of 37kg/tonne crop dry matter and preserved in a heavy duty plastic bag using a silo press. The urea treated whole crop wheat silage(UWCWS) was mixed with grass silage to replace 0.00(S100), 0.33(S33) and 0.67(S67) parts of the forage dry matter and fed ad libitum in a cross over design to 18 Simmental X Holstein Friesian growing beef animals. Two energy sources {one high in starch, rolled barley(RB) and one high in digestible fibre, sugar beet pulp(SBP)} were fed to supply sufficient energy for the efficient use of nitrogen by the rumen micro-organisms. The data on DMIF (dry matter intake of forage), TDMI (total dry matter intake), DLWG (daily live weight gain), FCR (feed conversion ratio) were recorded and faecal samples were collected to determine the digestibility coefficients. Results revealed that with the inclusion of UWCW in the animals` diets the DMI of the forage was significantly increased(p<0.05). The highest DMIF was found in the treatment `S33` (6.28 0.25 kg) where 67% of the silage dry matter was replaced with the UWCW and the lowest value for DMIF was observed in the control treatment(5.03 0.23 kg). The DLWG did not differ significantly between the treatments. However, treatment `S100` showed a trend towards a superior DLWG. Feed conversion ratio in the control treatment differed significantly from `S67` and `S33`. The addition of the UWCW in the animals` diet resulted in the lower FCR. There was no effect of type of energy supplement on any aspect of performance either overall or in interaction with grass silage : UWCWS ratio. The regression and correlation coefficients for DMIF(r = 5.22 + 0.0184x*), DLWG(r = 1.04 - 0.00086xns) and FCR(r = 4.78 = 0.022x*) on the inclusion of UWCW in the diet were calculated. The effect of the inclusion of UWCW on the overall digestibility coefficients was significant(p<0.05). The addition of the UWCWS in the diet decreased the digestibility of the DM, OM, ADF and NFE but effect on the protein digestibility was no significant. The results of present study suggests that a DLWG slightly over 1 kg can be achieved with UWCW during the store period(period in which animal performance targets are low especially during winter) and the prediction of ME was overestimated as the high intake of DM did not reflect in improved animal performance.
Keywords: Urea Treated Whole-Crop Wheat Silage(UWCWS); Grass Silage; Growing Beef Cattle

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