Masters Thesis

Palatability and digestibility measurements of roughages in sheep.

A technique of partial feeding through a ruminal fistual was used to assess the relative influence of palatability and digestibility of volun- tary intake of four sheep in confinement. Alfalfa and Bermuda grass were used as the comparative dietary constituents. By keeping the digestibility of the two feedstuffs on two of the animals constant, the differ- ence in feed intake between the two specific animals was attributable to palatability. The expected daily dry matter intake of the Bermuda grass sample, when viewed as equivalent in terms of digestible energy intake to the alfalfa sample, was a more valid estimate of palata- bility than if only the observed daily intake was singu- larly used. The contribution of palatability, as such, associated with the difference reflected in actual feed intake between the alfalfa and Bermuda grass consumption levels, was 23.17 percent. This indicates that Bermuda grass was adjudged to be some 23.17 percent less palat- able than alfalfa.

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