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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(1): 80-85.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.80    Published online January 1, 2004.
A Study on the Seasonal Comparison of Dry Matter Intake, Digestibility, Nitrogen Balance and Feeding Behavior in Spotted Deer (Cervus nippon) Fed Forest By-products Silage and Corn Silage
S. H. Moon, B. T. Jeon, S. K. Kang, S. H. Sung, R. J. Hudson
The purpose of this experiment was to assess seasonal variation of feed utilization by feed sources and to obtain information on the use of feed resources by comparing seasonal changes of dry matter intake, digestibility, nitrogen balance and feeding behavior in spotted deer (Cervus nippon) fed forest by-product silage (FBS) and corn silage (CS). Dry matter intake (DMI) of FBS was higher than that of CS in both winter and summer. While DMI of both diets was higher in summer, this was not significant at the 5% level. In contrast to DMI, digestible dry matter intake (DDMI) was higher for CS than for FBS in both seasons, but the difference was not significant. Digestibility of dry matter and crude protein was significantly higher (p<0.01) for CS than for FBS, whereas digestibility of crude fiber was significantly higher (p<0.01) for FBS than for CS in both seasons. Seasonal digestibility of dry matter and crude fiber for FBS was significantly greater (p<0.01) in summer than in winter: In summer, seasonal digestibility was 57.2% for dry matter and 55.5% for crude fiber, and in winter, 50.8% for dry matter and 30.7% for crude fiber. On the other hand, seasonal digestibility of crude protein was higher (p<0.01) in winter (42.1%) than in summer (32.3%). No significant difference (p>0.05) was found between the two seasons and diets for nitrogen intake (NI), 18.7 g/d in summer and 19.4 g/d in winter for FBS, 17.7 g/d in summer and 17.7 g/d in winter for CS. Fecal nitrogen was higher (p<0.01) for FBS than for CS and varied little seasonally. There was significant difference (p<0.01) between two seasons in urinary nitrogen, which was little difference between two diets. Retained nitrogen (RN) was different significantly (p<0.01) between two diets in both seasons, but there was little difference between seasons. Deer usually spent longer time on eating FBS than eating CS. Eating FBS took 221 min in summer and 187 min in winter, whereas eating CS took 113 min in summer and 109 min in winter. Deer spent less time on eating food in winter than in summer. Time spent on rumination was longer for FBS than for CS: for FBS, 504 min in summer and 456 min in winter, for CS, 423 min in summer and 279 min in winter. Time varied seasonally with both diets.
Keywords: Deer; Digestibility; Dry Matter Intake; Nitrogen Balance; Feeding Behavior; Seasonality

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