The effects of bermudagrass-clipping pellets as an alternative forage source in the diets of sheep

dc.creatorMcMillan, Matthew Lee Scienceen_US
dc.description.abstractThree studies were conducted to determine the effects of Bermuda grass-clippings (Cynodon dactylon L.) collected from domestic lawns as an alternative forage source in the diets of sheep. The first study compared Bermuda grass-clipping pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.) to alfalfa pellets (Medicago sativa L.) in a concentrate diet fed to 60 Suffolk, Rambouillet x Suffolk, and hair crossbred lambs. Feed efficiency data and carcass characteristics were recorded to determine treatment differences. No differences (P > .05) were found between the two diets for any feed efficiency or carcass characteristics when using pen as the experimental unit. However, breed effects were significant (P < .05) for initial weight, days on feed, average daily gain, dry matter intake, daily dry matter intake, feed:gain, fat thickness, flank streakings, and quality grade. In the second study, a metabolism trial was performed to determine apparent crude protein (CP) retention and absorption of three concentrate diets containing either alfalfa pellets (Medicago sativa L.), Coastal Bermuda grass hay pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.), or bermuda grass-clipping pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.). Twenty-one Rambouillet wethers were used in the study. A 5 day (d) warm-up period was followed by a 7 d total collection period of all urine and fecal material produced. No differences (P > .05) were found for N intake, dry matter digestibility (DMD), fecal N, urinary N, apparent N absorbed, or apparent N retained. In the third study, rumen fluid was collected from a canulated steer on a 100% Bermuda grass hay (Cynodon dactylon L.) diet to perform an in vitro dry matter disappearance analysis on alfalfa pellets (Medicago sativa L.), Coastal bermuda grass hay pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.), and bermud agrass-clipping pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.). Digestibility was measured over a 12, 24, and 48 hour time period. Digestibility significantly increased (P < .05) over time for alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Coastal bermudagrass pellets (Cynodon dactylon L.), but not for bermuda grass-clippings (Cynodon dactylon L.). When comparing digestibility between forage sources, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) was the highest (P < .05) in digestibility over all three time periods. Bermuda grass-clippings (Cynodon dactylon L.) were the second highest (P < .05) in digestibility for the 12 hour and 24 hour time period. However, Bermuda grass clippings (Cynodon dactylon L.) and Coastal bermuda grass hay (Cynodon dactylon L.) were not different (P > .05) in digestibility for the 48 hour time period.
dc.publisherTexas Tech Universityen_US
dc.subjectSheep -- Metabolismen_US
dc.subjectBermuda grassen_US
dc.subjectSheep -- Feeding and feedsen_US
dc.titleThe effects of bermudagrass-clipping pellets as an alternative forage source in the diets of sheep