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Digestibility trials on forages in Trinidad and their use in the prediction of nutritive value

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2009

M. H. Butterworth
Faculty of Agriculture, University of the West Indies Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, Trinidad


Twenty-nine digestibility trials were carried out on various tropical forages and the results obtained were used to investigate possible prediction of nutritive value from chemical composition.

1. The digestibility coefficient of crude protein could be predicted from the level of dietary crude protein. This prediction could be slightly improved by the incorporation of crude fibre in the expression. Results were somewhat higher than those reported from temperate areas.

2. In order to investigate the above phenomena, a value for metabolic faecal protein was calculated. This was found to be similar to values reported from temperate areas. There was no correlation between faecal crude protein and either level of dietary crude fibre or undigested crude fibre.

3. No significant relationships could be obtained to predict total digestible nutrients from either crude fibre or crude protein.

4. There was a low (non-significant) negative correlation between the content of dietary crude fibre and the digestibility coefficient of organic matter; comparison of this value with those in the literature suggested that the effect of crude fibre in tropical areas was different to that reported from temperate areas.

5. Results obtained were compared with standards of intake and nutrient requirements as recommended by the N.R.C. It was concluded that the factor most frequently limiting was digestible crude protein whilst total digestible nutrients were adequate in the greater part of the samples considered.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1963

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