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Utilization of alder sawdust by sheep and cattle Shelford, James Arthur

Abstract

Twenty-eight beef-type animals were divided into four groups and fed four rations consisting of equal amounts of basal ration, to which increments of alder sawdust (Alnus rubra) were added (0, 13%, 21%, and 35%) (Experiment I). The addition of the sawdust had no significant effect on total gain although the three groups of animals receiving sawdust in their diet had a higher rate of gain than the group receiving no sawdust. The effects of the ration on the carcass grade and the acceptability (tenderness and juiciness) of the meat as studied by a trained taste panel, were non-significant. When the rations used in the above trial were subjected to a digestion trial using mature wethers, the results coincided with the growth data collected from the steers used above. If the digestion of the basal rations were taken as constant, the wood material had a digestion coefficient ranging from 46.5% to 13.5%, depending on the level of sawdust in the diet. It was felt that a figure of 13% digestion for sawdust was close to being correct, and that the variation in measurement of the digestion of sawdust was due to the increased utilization of the basal ration when the sawdust was present. Analysis of the rumen fluid of the steers in the growth trial for total and individual volatile fatty acids (VFA) showed a decrease (p

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