• Effect of phosphorus level and phytase inclusion on the performance, bone mineral concentration, apparent nutrient digestibility, and on mineral and nitrogen utilisation in finisher pigs.

      Varley, T.F.; Callan, J.J.; O'Doherty, John V. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      Two experiments were conducted to investigate the interaction between dietary P concentration and phytase (PHY) inclusion in the diet of finisher pigs. In Experiment 1, the growth performance and bone analysis experiment, pigs (6 replicate groups of 14 pigs each per treatment; initial body weight (BW) = 45.2 kg) were allocated to one of six dietary treatments (for 74 days) in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement: T1 – available P in the diet = 1.5 g/kg; T2 = T1 with 500 units of phytase (FTU)/kg; T3 – available P = 2.0 g/kg; T4 = T3 with 500 FTU/kg; T5 – available P = 2.5 g/kg; T6 = T5 with 500 FTU/kg. Experiment 2 consisted of a digestibility and a P, Ca and N balance study, and pigs (6 per treatment; initial BW = 67.3 kg) were offered identical diets to those offered in Experiment 1. There was an interaction between dietary P level and PHY inclusion for average daily gain (ADG) and carcass weight (CW; P < 0.05) in Experiment 1. Pigs offered the low P diet supplemented with PHY had a higher ADG and CW than pigs offered the non-PHY, low P diet. However, there was no effect (P > 0.05) of PHY inclusion on ADG or CW with the medium or high P diets. Higher concentrations of ash, P and Ca in bone were noted in pigs offered the medium and high P diets (P < 0.001) and PHY (P < 0.01) diets when compared to pigs offered the low P without PHY. Pigs offered diets supplemented with PHY had lower faecal P output (P < 0.01) and a higher P digestibility (P < 0.001) and P retention (P < 0.05) than pigs offered diets without added PHY. In conclusion, supplementation of a low-P finisher diet with PHY resulted in pigs that had a similar carcass weight, but weaker bones than pigs offered a medium or high P diet.
    • Effects of forage supplements on milk production and chemical properties, in vivo digestibility, rumen fermentation and N excretion in dairy cows offered red clover silage and corn silage or dry ground corn

      Salcedo, G.; Martinez-Suller, L.; Arriaga, H.; Merino, P. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      This study concerned the effects of partial substitution of clover silage with high starch forages on milk production and chemical composition, in vivo digestibility, rumen fermentation pattern and nitrogen excretion of dairy cows. Sixteen dairy cows were separated into two groups and were assigned to treatments in a two-period crossover design. Two forage supplements were used: corn silage (CS) and dry ground corn (DG). All animals received 4.5 kg of concentrate dry matter per day. Results showed no significant difference between the forage supplements for milk production, while significant differences (P<0.01) were observed for milk fat, milk protein and nitrogen utilisation efficiency (42 v. 4.0 g/kg, 3.5 v. 3.3 g/kg and 222 v. 188 g/kg, respectively, for DG and CS). Faecal N excretion did not differ between forage supplements, but urinary N excretion was higher for CS (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed between treatments for rumen fluid pH or for rumen fluid concentrations of ammonium nitrogen or of acetic, propionic or butyric acids. Dry matter intake and the in vivo digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, acid detergent fibre and neutral detergent fibre were all higher for CS compared with DG.
    • A note on the evaluation of the acid-insoluble ash technique as a method for determining apparent diet digestibility in beef cattle.

      McGeough, E.J.; O'Kiely, Padraig; Kenny, David A.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF 05 224 (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      The objective was to determine if the acid-insoluble ash (AIA) method provided accurate estimates of in vivo apparent digestibility compared with the standard total faecal collection (TFC) method. Twelve steers, mean live weight 328 (s.d. 27.3) kg, were offered one of three diets based on whole-crop wheat (WCW) or a grass silage (GS) diet in a 4 × 4 latin square design. Apparent dietary digestibility was determined simultaneously using AIA and TFC methods. Agreement between the two methods depended on diet type, with acceptable agreement (a difference between the methods of 0.06), observed with the WCW-based diets. However, the strength of the agreement was weakened with the inclusion of GS. Agreement statistics were found to be a useful tool for assessing the relationship between the two methods of measurement.