ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 70 Number 4
Intake and digestibility by sheep of mature grass alone and in combination with two tropical legumes
The effect of combining two tropical legumes of contrasting quality, Desmodium ovalifolium CIAT 350 and Stylosanthes capitata cv. Capica, with a mature grass, Andropogon gayanus, on intake and digestibility by sheep was studied. Intake of mature A. gayanus was low and did not increase when D. ovalifolium or S. capitata was included in the forage offered. When either legume comprised >20% of the forage offered there was a substitution effect, particularly with D. ovalifolium, which is of lower quality than S. capitata. Total dry matter (DM) intake was not increased by inclusion of D. ovalifolium, but linearly with the percentage of S. capitata. Apparent DM, fibre, and crude protein digestibility of the total diet were increased with increases in the proportion of S. capitate in the forage offered and consumed, which was not the case with D. ovalifolium.
Keywords: Sheep; Digestibility; Andropogon gayanus; Desmodium oualifolium; Stylosanthes capitate