NYLON BAG DIGESTIBILITY AND RATE OF PASSAGE OF DIGESTA IN MOOSE, WAPITI AND CATTLE
Fistulae were established in two wapiti and one moose in late summer, using two procedures. Post-operative recovery from ruminal fistulation was rapid. However, some problems were encountered later which required selection of different cannulae. Dry matter digestibility and rate of passage of three diets by fistulated moose (Alces alces) and wapiti (Cervus elaphus nelsonii) and cattle were studied during late winter. These animals were fed diets of grass hay/alfalfa, alfalfa and aspen/alfalfa consecutively. Moose ranked between cattle and wapiti in their ability to digest the three diets with the nylon bag technique. Potential digestibility of aspen browse in moose was 57%, approximately 14% less than alfalfa. Excretion of dysprosium, a particulate-phase marker, peaked earliest for diets best utilized by that ruminant species.
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