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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(9): 1267-1272.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.1267    Published online December 1, 2005.
Change in Nitrogen Fractions and Ruminal Nitrogen Degradability of Orchardgrass Ensiled at Various Moisture Contents and the Subsequent Effects on Nitrogen Utilization by Sheep
H. V. Nguyen, M. Kawai, J. Takahashi, S. Matsuoka
The effect of various moisture contents of fresh forage on the change in nitrogen (N) fractions, in vitro ruminal N degradability, and the subsequent N utilization of silage in sheep were evaluated. Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) with high (HM, 76%), medium (MM, 65%) and low (LM, 40%) moisture contents were ensiled into silos of 120 L capacity for 120 days. A nitrogen balance trial was conducted using a 4횞4 Latin square design consisting of four dietary treatments (i.e. fresh forage, HM, MM and LM silages) and four wethers. With respect to N fractions, fraction 1 (buffer solution soluble N), fraction 2 (buffer solution insoluble Nneutral detergent insoluble N), fraction 3 (neutral detergent insoluble N-acid detergent insoluble N), and fraction 4 (acid detergent insoluble N) were determined. The proportion of fraction 1 in silages tended to decrease, while the in vitro ruminal degradability of insoluble N increased (p<0.05) with lower moisture contents at ensiling. Consequently, nitrogen utilization in sheep tended to improve as the moisture content of ensiled grass was decreased, with a negative correlation (p<0.01) between urinary N and the in vitro ruminal degradability of insoluble N. The averaged N retentions for HM, MM, and LM silage treatments were 59, 73 and 79% of that for fresh forage, respectively.
Keywords: Orchardgrass; Moisture Contents; Ensiling; Nitrogen Fractions; Ruminal Degradability; Nitrogen Utilization

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