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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Comparison of faecal crude protein and n-alkanes techniques to estimate herbage intake by grazing sheep

Savian, Jean V.; Genro, Teresa C. M.; Neto, Armindo Barth; Bremm, Carolina; Azevedo, Eduardo B.; David, Diego B.; Gonda, Horacio L.; Carvalho, Paulo C. F.


This paper has the following objectives: i) evaluate which of the two techniques, n-alkanes or faecal crude protein (fCP), and their equations had the highest accuracy in estimating DM intake by sheep; and ii) evaluate which ratio option of n-alkanes (C-31:C-32 or C-33:C-32) was most accurate in estimating sheep DM intake. The experimental design was a randomised complete block with three replicates (paddocks) and repeated measures on time (periods), arranged in a two-level factorial design, with two stocking methods (continuous and rotational) and two grazing intensities (moderate and low). In general, both the fCP and n-alkanes techniques and equations tested are potential to estimate DM intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass, however, the equation proposed by Azevedo et al. (2014) and De-Stefani Aguiar et al. (2013) are the most accurate (lower CV), respectively. The n-alkanes ratio C-31:C-32 is the more accurate predictor of DM intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass pastures.


Digestibility; DM intake; Grazing intensities; Italian ryegrass; Stocking methods

Published in

Biodiversity and Conservation
2018, Volume: 242, pages: 144-149

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    Animal and Dairy Science

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