Forage utilisation, energy and protein nutrition in tropical rusa deer (cervus timorensis) stags farmed in Queensland - Australia

Majid Hmeidan (2010). Forage utilisation, energy and protein nutrition in tropical rusa deer (cervus timorensis) stags farmed in Queensland - Australia PhD Thesis, School of Animal Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Majid Hmeidan
Thesis Title Forage utilisation, energy and protein nutrition in tropical rusa deer (cervus timorensis) stags farmed in Queensland - Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of Animal Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-10
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Gordon Dryden
Dr Rafat Al Jassim
Total pages 226 pages
Total colour pages Seven (7) pages
Total black and white pages 219 pages
Subjects 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Abstract/Summary Abstract Four experiments were conducted during the years 1997 and 1998 to investigate the response of growing rusa deer stags to forages fed either alone or supplemented with barley grain, and to measure metabolisable energy and protein requirements for growing and mature stags farmed in the sub-tropical environment of Queensland. In the first experiment, the responses to feeding three forages conserved as hay with or without grain supplementation were examined. Two groups of weaner rusa stags (6 mo old) with a mean initial live weight of 37 kg were offered ad libitum one of three forages (Rhodes grass (RG), lucerne (LH) and soybean (SB)) for a period of 21 days, followed by another 21 days feeding barley grain (B) at 30 % of hay intake during the previous period while the same hay was fed ad libitum. The mean daily dry matter (DM) intake from the tested forages was 379.5, 981.2 and 1237.3 g.animal d-1 for RG, LH and SB respectively. Supplementation with barley grain resulted in a significant increase in DM intake from RG, while a significant drop in SB intake was observed; intake from LH was not significantly different. Stags fed RG lost weight and barley supplementation resulted in moderate gain in this group, while the increase in live weight gain in LH and SB due to barley supplementation was not statistically significant. Barley supplementation had a significant positive effect on feed conversion ratio (FCR) in RG but not in LH or SB. Positive relationships were found between substitution rate (SR) and DM, nitrogen (N), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and metabolisable energy (ME) intake. In the second experiment, and in two separate trials, the response of growing rusa stags eating rhodes grass hay to the short and long term supplementation of barley grain (B) was examined. In trial 1(short-term supplementation), five growing rusa stags (15 mo old) with an initial mean live weight of 68 kg were offered five dietary treatments in a 5x5 latin square design. The treatments were rhodes grass hay supplemented with 0 (RG0), 200 (RG2), 400 (RG4), 800 (RG8) and 1200 (RG12) g B. animal d-1. Animals were on each treatment for 21 days. In trial 2 (long term supplementation), three growing stags (9 m old) with an initial average live weight of 44 kg were offered rhodes grass hay ad libitum plus 400 g B during the whole experimental period (105 days). Stags fed on RG alone lost weight and daily gain increased with higher supplementation levels. Supplementing RG with 200 g B increased intake from basal diet, but decreased at higher supplementation levels. While SR increased with increase in supplementation, it tended to fade away then became negative with time (trial 2). Barley supplementation had a positive effect on digestibility of DM, OM and N. A negative relationship was found between level of B and DM intake of basal diet (DMRG), while positive relationships were found between B level and total DM intake (TDMI), and between time (D) and both DMRG and TDMI (trial 2). There was a positive effect of B supplementation on both total intake and retention of nitrogen. The energy and protein nutrition and their requirements for maintenance and production for growing and mature rusa stags and the effect of season on these requirements were examined in two experiments. In these two experiments, stags were offered a custom made pellet formulated to contain 11 MJ DM-1 and 164 g DM-1. Requirements for maintenance were calculated by solving for x when y equals zero in the equations of the regression of live weight change (LWC; y) on nutrient intake (x), (y = a* x – b) and requirements for production were calculated as the reciprocal of the regression coefficient (x). In the first experiment (experiment 3), energy and protein nutrition in mature rusa stags was examined. Three entire and mature stags (42 mo old) with initial average body weight of 100 kg and in rut were housed in individual pens and fed at 1.0, 1.4 and 1.8 times of an assumed maintenance energy requirements in a 3x3 latin square repeated in winter (rut) and spring (after rut). In each season, the experiment went for three periods of 28 days each. Although, there was no significant difference in feed intake between the two seasons, stags however showed significant drop in live weight during rut season. There was no seasonal or treatment effect on digestibility and metabolisability of dietary energy. Positive linear relationships were found between LWC (y) and metabolisable energy (MEI; x), dry matter (DMI; x) and crude protein (CPI; x) intakes. Nutrient requirements for maintenance were significantly higher during rut, while there were no differences in requirements for production. In the second experiment (experiment 4), five growing rusa stags (10 mo old) with initial average body weight of 51 kg were housed in individual pens and fed on 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 times of an assumed maintenance energy requirement in a randomised block design for 6 periods of 28 days each. Positive linear relationships were found between LWC and MEI, DMI and CPI. There was significant difference in live weight gain between treatments, Animals on 1.0 M lost weight (- 41.1, while highest weight gain was in 1.8 M (153.1 Digestibility of dietary energy was significantly lower in 1.8 M, while did not differ between all other treatments. Metabolisability, however, was highest in 1.2 M and lowest in 1.8 M. There was significant positive treatment effect on nitrogen retention. There were individual animal differences in nutrient requirements and Ep. ME and CP requirements for maintenance were 0.586 (MJ.kgW0.75 d-1) and 8.48 (g.kgW0.75 d-1) respectively, while those for production were 30.33 MJ gain-1 and 452.7 g CP. kg gain-1.
Keyword rusa deer, nutritional requirements, metabolisable energy, protein, forage utilisation, supplementation, venison

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Created: Tue, 23 Nov 2010, 09:22:24 EST by Mr Majid Hmeidan on behalf of Library - Information Access Service