Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production and Dairy Products (ALP), 1725 Posieux

Nutritive value of grassland plants: Amino acid composition

n order to complete the published data on the nutritive value of 10 main grassland plants their amino acid content was analysed in 70 of 555 available samples. The species as well as the age of the plant has only a limited influence on the in the intestine digestible amino acid content (IDAA). Cocksfoot and white clover contain the highest amount of lysine whereas the lowest content was found in red clover. The lowest methionine content was found in white clover. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and common cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium) both contain relatively large amounts of IDAA. On the basis of the 10 investigated plant species it can be inferred that the amino acid content of the 4 standard types of meadow does not differ much. Because of this limited variation the type of meadow and its degree of maturity can be neglected when the IDAA supply of the high yielding cow is estimated in order to avoid deficits which could affect her productivity and health.

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