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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Diet characteristics, digesta kinetics, and dry matter intake of steers grazing eastern gamagrass
Year: 1992
Author(s): Burns, J. C., Fisher, D. S.
Source Title: Journal of Animal Science
Source Type: Journal
pages: 1251-1261
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacurn dactyloides) has attracted attention as a forage crop, but information on its use is lacking. This 2-yr study compared diet quality, ingestive mastication, and ADG by steers grazing eastern gamagrass (GGI, flaccidgrass (Penniseturn flaccidurn and Tifton 44 bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). The design was a randomized complete block with two agronomic replicates. The diet selected by steers from GG in May did not differ from the diet selected by steers from flaccidgrass (FG) for IVDMD (77.3%), NDF (44.0%), CP (19.5%), and mean and median particle sizes of the ingesta (1.8 and 1.4 d. In July, GG diets had three percentage units less IVDMD (P < .051, 8.4 percentage units more NDF (P < .05), and 4.5 percentage units less CP (P = .07) than the mean of FG and bermudagrass (BG). The canopy (July) of GG had the greatest proportion of its DM as leaf (59 vs 26% for FG and 22% for BG) and the least proportion as stem (25 vs 40% for FG and 59% for BG). Mean particle size (millimeters) of masticates differed (P = .05) among forages with GG greatest (2.21, followed by FG (1.61, and BG particles were smallest (1.2). Proportion of large (> 2.8 mm), medium (< 2.8 > 2 .5 mm), and small (< .5 mm) particles of the masticate DM, and their IVDMD and NDF concentration, interacted with species (P < .05). Gamagrass masticate had the greatest proportion (28%) of large particles and BG the greatest proportion 123%) of small particles. The least IVDMD occurred for large particles of BG (62.5%) and small particles of GG (63.8%). Digesta kinetics did not differ among species. Characteristics of GG yielded steer ADG of .82 vs .67 kg for FG and .30 kg for BG (P = .05)