Forage intake processes by goats on a massai grass pasture with different sward heights

Marcônio Martins Rodrigues, Maria Elizabete Oliveira, Tânia Maria Leal, Raniel Lustosa Moura, Daniel Louçana da Costa Araújo, Maurílio Sousa dos Santos, Francelino Neiva Rodrigues, Viviany Sousa Rodrigues

Abstract


The objective of this study was to evaluate the forage-intake process of goats feeding on Massai grass pastures with different heights (40, 50, 60, and 70 cm). The experimental design was completely randomized, with treatments corresponding to four sward heights with two replicates over time and space. Collected data were related to the forage-intake process and the chemical and morphological composition of the pasture. Grazing trials (45 min) were performed with four Anglo-Nubian crossbred goats. Total forage mass intake, bite mass, and intake rate were expressed in relation to animal weight. Pasture density, forage mass, and leaf blade increased as forage height increased. The chemical composition of forage at the evaluated heights was similar, except for reduced crude protein content at 70-cm height. Bite rate, intake rate, and time per bite had a quadratic relationship with increasing sward height. The greatest intake rate was observed at 54.7 cm of height, with 0.136 g DM min-1 kg-1 LW. Bite rate exhibited a linear and positive correlation with increase in intake. At the 50-cm height, goats harvested a mass of 3.65 g DM bite-1 kg-1 LW, when they performed 34.5 bites per minute. Adult goats had a greater forage intake on 50-cm high Massai grass pastures because they could obtain a greater bite mass in a shorter time per bite.

Keywords


Bite mass; Bite rate; Intake rate; Intake.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2016v37n6p4339

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional