Studies of the nutritional value of some selected interlake forages

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Grieve, Clarence Melross
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A survey was made of three areas in the Interlake District of Manitoba to obtain information on cattle and forage production, and to collect forage samples for chemical analyses. Approximately 89 samples of forage from 50 farms were analysed for crude protein, calcium and phosphorus. Digestibility studies with yearling wethers were conducted on five lots of native hay selected from the three areas. In determining digestibility the chromogen method was compared with the conventional method. The native hays in the Interlake District were generally deficient in digestable crude protein total digestible nutrients and phosphorus, as well as being of a lower palatability. The use of a phosphorus supplement, such as bonemeal or dicalcium phosphate, appears to be required throughout the year. The use of the present low-quality hays requires additional supplementation rarely protect and cereal grains to ensure a ration adequate in digestible crude protein and total digestible nutrients. The chromogen method of determining digestibility as used in these studies, was not applicable to native hays with such low concentrations of chromogen.