257-44 Using Eastern Gamagrass to Limit Weight Gains by Replacement Dairy Heifers: 1. Nutrient Intakes and Heifer Performance.

Poster Number 805

See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
See more from this Session: Forage and Grazinglands
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Duke Energy Convention Center, Exhibit Hall AB, Level 1
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Wayne Coblentz, USDA-ARS, US Dairy Forage Research Center, Marshfield, WI, Patrick C. Hoffman, Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin, Marshfield, WI, Nancy M. Esser, University of Wisconsin Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, Marshfield, WI and Michael Bertram, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Poster Presentation
  • ASSA_CSSA_SSSA 2012 Cincinnati Heifer Performance.pdf (123.6 kB)
  • Previous research has shown that eastern gamagrass [EGG; Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] will produce yields of DM in central Wisconsin ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 kg/ha annually when managed with a 1-cut harvest system. Our objective was to determine whether the fibrous nature of this perennial warm-season grass could reduce the caloric density and DM intakes of corn silage/alfalfa haylage diets for replacement dairy heifers. A total of 120 Holstein dairy heifers were blocked by weight (heavy, 424 15.9 kg; medium, 369 11.8 kg; light, 324 22.4 kg), and then assigned to 15 individual pens comprised of 8 heifers/pen. Eastern gamagrass haylage was blended into corn silage/alfalfa haylage diets at rates of 0, 9.2, 18.4, or 27.6% of the total dietary dry matter (EGG0, EGG9, EGG18, and EGG27, respectively). These diets were offered during a 105-d evaluation period for ad-libitum intake; however, the EGG0 diet also was offered on a limit-fed basis (LF). Serial additions of EGG increased NDF in blended diets from 396 g/kg (EGG0) to 487 g/kg (EGG27), and reduced corresponding estimates of energy density from 682 to 613 g/kg TDN. Intakes of DM for all ad-libitum diets were greater than LF (9.06 vs. 8.07 kg/d; P < 0.001); however, DM intakes for diets containing EGG were reduced relative to EGG0 (9.40 vs. 8.94 kg/d; P = 0.001). Similar effects were observed for intakes of TDN. Over the 105-d trial, total weight gains ranged from 89 kg (0.85 kg/d) for heifers offered EGG27 up to 114 kg (1.09 kg/d) for those offered EGG0. Performance was numerically similar between heifers offered EGG27 and LF diets (0.85 vs. 0.88 kg/d). Eastern gamagrass haylage was a completely non-sortable additive within corn silage/alfalfa haylage diets, and limited undesirable weight gains by dairy heifers.
    See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
    See more from this Session: Forage and Grazinglands