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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Effects of Stovers of Four Varieties of Common Vetch on Growth Performance, Ruminal Fermentation, and Nutrient Digestibility of Growing Lambs

by 1,†, 2, 1 and 1,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, China
2
School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present addresses: Department of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China.
Animals 2020, 10(4), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040596
Received: 21 February 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 26 March 2020 / Published: 1 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
Common vetch is an important legume crop of mixed crop-livestock systems, and it has the ability to satisfy food, fodder, and fertilizer demands through grain, stover, and nitrogen fixation. The aim of this study was to evaluate common vetch varietal differences in stover nutritive value, ruminal fermentation properties, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen retention, and animal performance in fattening lambs consuming a diet comprising 20% common vetch. The results showed that the substitution of alfalfa hay by varieties Lanjian No. 1 and Lanjian No. 2 stovers in ruminant diets could be advantageous in reducing dependence on imported alfalfa hay, thereby enhancing sustainability of small holder farmers on the Tibetan Plateau.
This study evaluated common vetch stover as a feed in mixed rations for growing lambs. Four common vetch varieties were compared with alfalfa (control) for their effects on growth performance, ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and nitrogen retention. Male Hu lambs (n = 50) aged 3 months, with a mean body weight of 17.5 ± 0.34 kg were allocated randomly to one of the five dietary treatments, making 10 lambs per treatment. The experiment lasted 67 days with a 10-day adaptation period and a 50-day fattening period, and with the final 7 days used for a nutrient digestibility and nitrogen balance trial. All diets contained 30.0% maize straw and 50.0% concentrate, with different forage sources (on a fed basis): 20.0% alfalfa hay (control), 20.0% local common vetch variety 333A (C333A) stover, or 20.0% stover of one of three improved common vetch varieties: Lanjian No. 1 (CLJ1), Lanjian No. 2 (CLJ2), or Lanjian No. 3 (CLJ3). For stover quality, CLJ1 stover had the greatest crude protein (CP), in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), and metabolizable energy (ME) content and the least cell wall contents, while C333A stover had the least CP, IVOMD, and ME contents and the greatest cell wall contents. Sheep fed the control diet had a greater average daily gain (ADG), apparent digestibility of organic matter (DOM), neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and nitrogen retention, and greater ruminal total volatile fatty acids concentration than lambs fed the C333A or CLJ3 diet, but similar performance to lambs fed the CLJ1 and CLJ2 diets. The feed conversion ratio and predicted CH4 emission per unit of DOM intake and ADG of the control, CLJ1, and CLJ2 diets was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than for the other diets. Based on these results, stovers of varieties CLJ1 and CLJ2 can be recommended as an alternative to alfalfa hay and for use in a legume crop rotation with cereals on the Tibetan plateau. View Full-Text
Keywords: common vetch; nutritive quality; lamb growth; volatile fatty acid; methane emission common vetch; nutritive quality; lamb growth; volatile fatty acid; methane emission
MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, Y.; Matthew, C.; Li, F.; Nan, Z. Comparative Effects of Stovers of Four Varieties of Common Vetch on Growth Performance, Ruminal Fermentation, and Nutrient Digestibility of Growing Lambs. Animals 2020, 10, 596. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040596

AMA Style

Huang Y, Matthew C, Li F, Nan Z. Comparative Effects of Stovers of Four Varieties of Common Vetch on Growth Performance, Ruminal Fermentation, and Nutrient Digestibility of Growing Lambs. Animals. 2020; 10(4):596. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040596

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huang, Yafeng; Matthew, Cory; Li, Fei; Nan, Zhibiao. 2020. "Comparative Effects of Stovers of Four Varieties of Common Vetch on Growth Performance, Ruminal Fermentation, and Nutrient Digestibility of Growing Lambs" Animals 10, no. 4: 596. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040596

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