The nutritive value of natural pasture herbage ensiled at three stages of growth

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University of Dar es Salaam
An experiment was conducted at the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science, Morogoro from July 1979 to May 1980. The objective was to evaluate the nutritive value of natural pasture silages with particular attention to the effect of stage of growth on silage quality. Silages were prepared from three grass species namely, maize (Zea mays), guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and jaragua grass anthesis, anthesis and post-anthesis stages of growth, and ensiled. The silages were evaluated for pH, dry matter content, ammonia-nitrogen content, in vivo digestibility and dry matter intake using twelve adult Black headed Persian sheep. Digestibility by sheep was determined by totoa collection in all grass silages. Maize silage had a comparatively low mean pH (5.0) compared to the other two grass silages (guinea grass (5.60 and jaragua grass (5.9). Overall, maize silage had a higher mean organic matter digestibility (CFD)and energy content than either guinea grass or jaragua grass silage. Guinea grass silage had a higher OMD, CPD and CFD than jaragua grass silage. The silages made from herbages harvested at pre-anthesis stage of growth had a higher OMD, CPD, CFD and energy content (SE) than those silages made from herbages harvested at post thesis stage of growth. The results showed that maize silage was at all stages of growth superior to the other two grass silages. Results further showed that both guinea grass and jaragua grass could produce reasonably good silage if herbage was harvested at pre-anthesis, and anhtesis in casde of guinea grass. For both grasses, herbage harvested at post-anthesis stage of growth produced low quality silage.
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Ensilage, Silage, Maize silage, Guinea grass silage, Jaragua grass silage
Mussa, M. A (1981) The nutritive value of natural pasture herbage ensiled at three stages of growth,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )