Send to

Choose Destination
J Anim Sci. 1997 May;75(5):1368-79.

Changes in forage quality, ingestive mastication, and digesta kinetics resulting from switchgrass maturity.

Author information

USDA-ARS, Crop Science Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695, USA.


Five maturities of switchgrass hay harvested at 14-d intervals (vegetative through 20% heading) were fed to Hereford steers (297 kg) in a 5 x 5 Latin square. Relationships with switchgrass maturity were negative and quadratic (P < .05) for DMI and cubic (P < .05) for digestible DMI. Declines in apparent digestibilities of DM, ADF, and cellulose were cubic (P < .05), whereas these were quadratic (P < .05) for NDF, hemicellulose, and CP. Whole masticates from the least, mid, and most mature hays showed linear (P < .05) declines in DM concentration and IVDMD with increasing maturity, whereas NDF concentrations increased linearly (P < .05). Mean retention time of gastrointestinal DM increased linearly (P < .01) from 64 to 94 h from the least to the most mature hay, and the associated rate of passage declined linearly (P < .01) from 3.3 to 2.1%/h. Sieving of masticate DM showed a reduced proportion of large particles (> or = 2.8 mm) and an increased proportion of small particles (< or = .5 mm) with advancing forage maturity. More than 94% of the sieved fecal DM passed a 1.0-mm sieve, but particle sizes showed the same relationship with forage maturity as noted for masticate DM. This occurred despite the comminution from the rumination and digestive processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center