Contemporary aspects of lucerne use in animal nutrition
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An overview of current trends in lucerne use in animal nutrition in different forms: fresh lucerne, preserved lucerne - hay and haylage, or a component of mixtures as dehydrated lucerne and protein-carotenoide concentrate of lucerne juice are presented in paper. The nutritive value of lucerne is directly affected by the stage of maturity, method of preservation, processing and utilization in animal diets. Based on morphological changes the chemical composition of alfalfa plants can be estimated with high correlations (above 90%). Due to numerous factors that affect on chemical composition of lucerne hay, the nutritive value is highly variable, and using of lucerne hay in rations for ruminants is minimal, according to requirements for optimal digestion and ruminal function. The cut length of lucerne haylage affects average particle length of total mixed rations for ruminants. The physical form and effectiveness of ration is significant parameter for regular rumen function, digestibility... of nutrients, and production performances of ruminants, particularly highyielding lactating cows. The largest reasons for difficulties in preserving lucerne as haylage are in its high buffer capacity, the insufficient content of fermentable sugars and fast degradation of nitrogen compounds. The most favorable results were obtained with simultaneous use of carbohydrate supplements with homofermentative lactic bacteria for wilted plant material. In spite of relatively high content of crude fiber, lucerne may be significant for nonruminant nutrition after specific treatment and processing, particularly for hen feeding with the purpose of yolk color modification. Lucerne juice may be particularly important for this purpose because it is a proteincarotenoide concentrate. It can be concluded that lucerne still remains one of the main feedstuffs due to its high nutrition value and exceptional biological characteristics.
Keywords:Lucerne / Nonruminants / Nutrition / Preserving / Processing / Ruminants
Source:CEFood 2012 - Proceedings of 6th Central European Congress on Food, 2012, 1514-1519
- 6th Central European Congress on Food, CEFood 2012