Agroscope, Institute for Livestock Sciences ILS, 1725 Posieux, Switzerland

In vivo digestibility in sheep of molassed beet-pulp silages

Molasses from the manufacture of beet sugar enables an improvement in the fermentation quality of beet-pulp silages. An in vivo trial with sheep was carried out at Agroscope Posieux in order to ascertain the digestibility of molassed pulp silages. Adult wethers (n = 4 per treatment; 83.9 ± 9.3 kg average weight) were given rations consisting of 40 % pulp silage (with 0 %, 7 % or 14 % molasses) and 60 % hay of the first cut. In a second stage, they were given 60 % pulp and 40 % hay of the second cut. The coefficients of organic matter digestibility, nitrogenous matter and crude energy did not differ as a function of the molasses content incorporated. The coefficients obtained with 40 % pulp in the ration were greater (p < 0.01) than those obtained with 60 % pulp. Cell-wall constituent digestibility (crude cellulose, lignocellulose and cell walls) differed neither as a function of the amount of molasses added nor as a function of the percentage of pulp in the ration.

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