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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Production

Effects of residual feed intake classification and method of alfalfa processing on ewe intake and growth

 

This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 830-835
     
    Received: May 31, 2013
    Accepted: Dec 07, 2013
    Published: November 24, 2014


    1 Corresponding author(s): reid.redden@ndsu.edu
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doi:10.2527/jas.2013-6768
  1. R. R. Redden 1,
  2. L. M. M. Surber,
  3. A. V. Grove and
  4. R. W. Kott
  1. Department of Animal Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58108
    Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman 59717
    AG Research LLC, White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

Abstract

The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of residual feed intake (RFI) determined under ad libitum feeding conditions on DMI and performance of yearling ewes fed either chopped or pelleted alfalfa hay. In Exp. 1, 45 ewe-lambs had ad libitum access to a pelleted grower diet for 63 d and individual DMI was determined using an electronic feed delivery system. Residual feed intake values were assigned to each ewe-lamb as a measure of feed efficiency. Sixteen ewe-lambs with the most positive RFI values were classified as high RFI (inefficient) and 16 ewe-lambs with the most negative RFI values were classified as low RFI (efficient). In Exp. 2, half of the ewes from each efficiency group were placed into 1 of 2 pens and provided ad libitum access to either pelleted or chopped alfalfa hay. Individual DMI was again determined using an electronic feed delivery system. Body weight, LM area (LMA), and 12th-rib back fat thickness (BF) were measured at the beginning and end of both experiments. In Exp. 1, DMI by ewe-lambs in the low RFI group was 9% less (P = 0.01) than by ewe-lambs in the high RFI group (2.21 vs. 2.43 kg/d); however, ADG and initial and final BW, LMA, and BF did not differ (P > 0.27) among RFI groups. In Exp. 2, there were no feed processing × RFI group interactions (P > 0.14) for any trait. By design, RFI values were lower (P < 0.01) by yearling ewes in the low than high RFI group (–0.27 vs. 0.27); however, RFI values did not differ (P = 1.0) between yearling ewes fed chopped versus pelleted alfalfa. Dry matter intake was 22% less (P < 0.01) by yearling ewes in the low than high RFI group (2.5 vs. 3.2 kg/d) and 59% less (P < 0.01) by yearling ewes fed chopped versus pelleted alfalfa (2.2 vs. 3.5 kg/d). Initial and final BW, ADG, and G:F did not differ (P > 0.45) between RFI groups but were greater (P < 0.01) by yearling ewes fed pelleted alfalfa compared to chopped alfalfa. Final LMA did not differ (P = 0.77) between RFI groups, but final BF tended to be greater (P = 0.06) for high than low RFI yearling ewes (0.63 vs. 0.57 cm). Final LMA and BF were greater (P < 0.01) by yearling ewes fed pelleted than chopped alfalfa. Low RFI ewes had lower DMI and BF compared to high RFI ewes. Ewe efficiency as determined by RFI was repeatable on subsequent forage based diets; however, differences in intake and efficiency were more apparent when alfalfa was pelleted.

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