Consumption and digestion of forages by male rusa (Cervus timorensis russa) deer – the effects of castration and season

Sookhareea, R. and Dryden, G. McL. (2004) Consumption and digestion of forages by male rusa (Cervus timorensis russa) deer – the effects of castration and season. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 17 8: 1098-1106.

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Author Sookhareea, R.
Dryden, G. McL.
Title Consumption and digestion of forages by male rusa (Cervus timorensis russa) deer – the effects of castration and season
Journal name Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1011-2367
Publication date 2004-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 17
Issue 8
Start page 1098
End page 1106
Total pages 9
Editor Jong K. Ha
Place of publication Korea
Publisher Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies
Language eng
Subject C1
300403 Animal Nutrition
630107 Minor livestock (e.g. horses, goats, deer)
Abstract In a split-unit design, 12 Javan rusa (Cervus tinzorensis russa) stags (6 castrated and 6 entire) were used to investigate seasonal (winter, spring and summer) effects on intake, digestibility of food constituents, volatile fatty acid profile, and nitrogen retention, which given lucerne (Medicago sativa) or rhodes grass (Chloris guyana) hays. Entire stags ate 9% more dry matter (DM) than castrates (p<0.05). Both castrated and entire stags exhibited seasonal changes in DM intake, these being higher (p<0.05) in winter (62.3g/kg W0.75) than spring (56.9 g/kg W0.75) or summer (55.3 g/kg W0.75). Intakes of lucerne hay (211 g protein/kg DM) were significantly higher than of rhodes grass hay (49 g protein/kg DM) in all seasons (p<0.05). Digestibilities of DM (0.58), neutral detergent fibre (0.59) and acid detergent fibre (0.47) were similar between castrates and entires. DM digestibility was higher (p<0.0001) for lucerne (0.66) than rhodes grass (0.55), and was higher (p<0.05) in winter (0.60) than spring (0.58) or summer (0.57). The ruminal acetate concentrations were higher (p<0.001) in spring than summer (78 and 73 molar % respectively). Apparent digestibility of protein was significantly less (p<0.0001) for rhodes grass (0.37) than lucerne (0.75). N retention was positive for lucerne (15.2 g/d) but negative for rhodes grass (-2.8 g/d) (p<0.0001), and was higher (p<0.001) in summer (12.0 g/d) than spring (4.3 g/d) or winter (2.4 g/d). The tropical rusa deer exhibits seasonal variations in feed intake, food constituent digestibilities, VFA profile and N retention. Castration did not alter these traits. The results do not support the view that rusa deer can thrive on low-quality pastures. The productivity and commercial exploitation of rusa deer could be optimised if they are given high- protein feed during spring and summer.
Keyword Rusa deer
Food Intake
Voluntary Feed-intake
Female Fallow Deer
Red Deer
Rumen Metabolism
Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Reproduced with permission of The Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences. Copyright 2004 AJAS. All rights reserved.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Created: Fri, 16 Jun 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Jo Spicer on behalf of School of Animal Studies