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Performance of growing dairy bulls offered diets based on silages made of whole-crop barley, whole-crop wheat, hairy vetch and grass

Huuskonen, Arto and Joki-Tokola, Erkki (2010) Performance of growing dairy bulls offered diets based on silages made of whole-crop barley, whole-crop wheat, hairy vetch and grass. Agricultural and Food Science, 19 (2), pp. 116-126.

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Summary

The present experiment was conducted to study diet digestibility, feed intake, animal performance and carcass characteristics of growing dairy bulls offered diets based on whole-crop barley, a mixture of whole-crop barley and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) or a mixture of whole-crop wheat and hairy vetch relative to moderate digestible grass silage-based diet. The feeding experiment with 24 Finnish Ayrshire and 8 Holstein-Friesian bulls included 4 forage feeding treatments: grass silage (G), whole-crop barley and hairy vetch mixture silage (BHV), whole-crop wheat and hairy vetch mixture silage (WHV) and whole-crop barley silage (B). In all treatments animals were offered silage ad libitum. The amount of concentrate supplementation was 36 g per animal per day for all treatments. The concentrate ration included rolled barley and rapeseed meal. Differences between the treatments were compared using an a priori test (Dunnett's test) so that comparison of the diets was based on the G diet. The animals were fed the experimental diets from day 240 to finish at day 505 of age. During the experiment the average concentrate proportions of G, BHV, WHV and B diets were 437, 424, 426 and 423 g dry matter (DM)/(kg DM), respectively. There were no significant differences in silage DM intake or in the total DM intake(DMI) (kg DM/d) between treatments. However DMI/kg W 0,75 tended to be 3,5 % higher (p=0.09) in the B diet than in the G diet. Due to increasing energy intake, the gain of the bulls was higher with the G diet than with WHV diet (p<0.05). BHV and B diets did not differ from the G diet in gain. Treatments had no significant effect on the dressing proportion of carcass conformation. The carcass fat score of WHV bulls was 29 % lower (p<0.05) than that of the G bulls, but BHV and B diets did not differ from the G diet in carcass fatness. The feed conversion rate (DM intake/kg carcass gain) of the bulls was better (p<0.001) and protein conversion (g AAT/kg carcass gain) tended to be better (p=0.07) with the G diet than with the WHV diet. BHV and B diets did not differ from the G diet in any feed conversion parameters. It can be concluded that replacing moderate digestible grass silage with whole-crop wheat and hairy vetch mixture silage decreased the carcass gain of growing dairy bulls due to lower energy intake and poorer feed conversion. Instead, replacing moderate digestible grass silage with whole-crop barley or with whole-crop barley and hairy vetch mixture silage resulted in no differences in the performance or carcass characteristics parameters of growing dairy bulls.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:beef production, dairy bulls, whole-crop silages, hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth, feed intake, growth rate
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Finland > MTT Agrifood Research
ISSN:1795-1895
Related Links:http://www.mtt.fi/english
Deposited By: Koistinen, Riitta
ID Code:17167
Deposited On:09 Jun 2010 12:45
Last Modified:09 Jun 2010 12:45
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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