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Feedipedia

Bispo et al., 2007. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 36 (6): 1902-1909

Document reference 
Bispo, S. V. ; Ferreira, M. de A. ; Veras, A. S. C. ; Batista, A. M. V. ; Pessoa, R. A. S. ; Bleuel, M. P., 2007. Spineless cactus in replacement of elephant grass hay. Effect on intake, apparent digestibility and ruminal fermentation characteristics in sheep. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 36 (6): 1902-1909
Abstract 

The effects of replacing elephant grass with spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) as forage source on intake, apparent digestibility and ruminal fermentation characteristics of sheep were evaluated. Five isonitrogenous diets were formulated with spineless cactus replacing 0, 14, 28, 42 and 56% of elephant grass in the diet. Five non-castrated male sheep were allotted to a 5*5 Latin square design (five periods, five spineless cactus levels and five replications). Each experimental period last 13 day - seven days for adaptation and 6 days for collection of data and samples. Intakes of DM, OM, EE, CP, TC, NFC and TDN were linearly increased as the elephant grass was replaced by spineless cactus in the diet. Water intake was linearly decreased and NDF intake showed a quadratic effect as the elephant grass was replaced by spineless cactus in the diet. The coefficient of apparent digestibilities of EE, CP, NFC and NDF were not affected by spineless cactus, while apparent digestibilities of DM, OM and TC linearly increased as the elephant grass was replaced by spineless cactus in the diet. Ruminal pH and N-NH3 concentration linearly decreased as the elephant grass was replaced by spineless cactus in the diet. The replacement of elephant grass by spineless cactus in the diet improved the nutrient intake and nutrient utilization.

Citation key 
Bispo et al., 2007