In an experiment consisting of three periods the digestibility and metabolizable
energy content of lucerne hay were determined with each of five
mature Merino wethers at the following daily levels of intake, corresponding
to the three periods of the experiment: I. 600 grams, II. 800 grams, and
III. 1,000 grams.
Whilst the differences in the coefficients of digestibility and metabolizable
energy content of the lucerne hay fed in periods I and III, respectively,
were, in general, found to be insignificant, the hay fed in period II was
digested significantly better and contained significantly more metabolizable
energy than the hay fed in either of the other two periods. These variations
in digestibility and metabolizable energy content are considered to have
been caused chiefly by the observed differences in chemical composition - protein, cellulose, and lignin contents - of the lucerne hays consumed in the
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