Annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) seed survival and digestibility in cattle and sheep

Rex Stanton, John Piltz, James Pratley, A Kaiser, D Hudson, G Dill

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17 Citations (Scopus)


A trial was conducted to investigate the survival and digestibility of annual ryegrass (ARG) seed (Lolium rigidum L.) eaten by sheep and cattle. Sheep (n= 8) and cattle (n = 8) were fed a basal diet containing 1:1 lucerne chaff:oaten chaff with (ARG) or without (control) the inclusion of 20% total dry matter of annual ryegrass seed in a changeover design. Intake was restricted to 17 g/kg liveweight. Digestibility of the control diet was lower (P<0.01) for sheep than cattle. Annual ryegrass seed was present (P<0.01) in the faeces of both sheep and cattle within 24 h of first ingestion. Some 10.8 and 32.8% of seed ingested was excreted by sheep and cattle respectively, with 3.9% (sheep) and 11.9% (cattle) remaining germinable. Annual ryegrass seed continued to be excreted by both sheep and cattle up to 5 days after removal from the diet. Dry matter digestibility of the annual ryegrass diet was 53% in cattle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Production Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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