What is the optimal level of barley to feed sheep grazing saltbush?

Mayberry, Dianne E., Masters, David G. and Vercoe, Philip E. (2008). What is the optimal level of barley to feed sheep grazing saltbush?. In: 2nd International Salinity Forum: Salinity, Water and Society – Global Issues, Local action. 2nd International Salinity Forum, Adelaide, SA, Australia, (). 31 March - 3 April 2008.

Author Mayberry, Dianne E.
Masters, David G.
Vercoe, Philip E.
Title of paper What is the optimal level of barley to feed sheep grazing saltbush?
Conference name 2nd International Salinity Forum
Conference location Adelaide, SA, Australia
Conference dates 31 March - 3 April 2008
Proceedings title 2nd International Salinity Forum: Salinity, Water and Society – Global Issues, Local action
Place of Publication era-unavailable
Publisher International Salinity Forum
Publication Year 2008
Sub-type Fully published paper
Total pages 4
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary Introduction
Sheep fed saltbush have less efficient rumen fermentation than sheep fed a traditional forage
(Mayberry et al 2007). This is illustrated by increased in vitro and in vivo methane
production, decreased total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration in the rumen, an increase
in the ratio of acetate to propionate in rumen fluid, and reduced organic matter digestibility.
These inefficiencies are likely to be caused by the high level of minerals (particularly NaCl
and KCl) and secondary compounds in the saltbush foliage.
Inefficient rumen fermentation could contribute to poor animal production by sheep grazing
saltbush pastures. Feeding a high-energy supplement such as barley can improve the feeding
value of saltbush pastures by providing energy to ruminal microbes to produce microbial
protein, stimulate carbohydrate digestion and detoxify secondary compounds (Hassan and
Abdel-Aziz 1979, Provenza et al 2003). However, the minimum amount of barley that is
required to improve animal performance has not been established. This is important given the
high cost of barley compared to saltbush in a commercial feeding system.
Van der Baan et al (2004) found that feeding barley at 15% of the diet increased the
digestibility of saltbush. However, there was no further improvement in digestibility when
sheep were fed 30 or 45% barley. This indicates that there may be an optimal level of
supplementation for sheep grazing saltbush. That is, there will be a minimal amount of barley
required to improve rumen fermentation of sheep grazing saltbush, but also a level beyond
which no additional benefit is obtained.
We hypothesised that there would be an optimal amount of barley for improving rumen
fermentation in sheep eating saltbush.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online.

 
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Created: Thu, 13 Oct 2011, 14:56:15 EST by Dr Dianne Mayberry on behalf of Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation