Studies on molassed sugar beet pulp as a component of diets for sheep and cattle
The nutritional value of molassed sugar beet feed as a dietary component was assessed in a series of three experiments. In experiment 1, the effect of molassed sugar beet feed pellets (32 or 64 g/kg fresh weight silage) either ensiled or fed separately with big-bale silage on silage quality and performance of male castrate sheep (initial liveweight 29 kg) was studied. On average, the inclusion of molassed sugar beet feed increased silage dry matter, water soluble carbohydrate and lactic acid concentrations and decreased silage ammonia concentrations. Molassed sugar beet feed either ensiled or given as a supplement, significantly improved total dry matter intakes and liveweight gain (P< 0.05) and metabolisable energy intakes (P< 0.01) in lambs. Experiment 2 was carried out to investigate the effects of feeding two levels of fishmeal in addition to molassed sugar beet feed as supplements to big-bale grass silage fed ad libitum to beef steers of 290 kg initial liveweight. Bale silage was given alone or supplemented with 800 g molassed sugar beet feed/day, molassed sugar beet feed + 125 g fish meal/day or molassed sugar beet feed + 250 g fish meal/day. Supplementation of big-bale silage with molassed sugar beet feed did not increase total dry matter intake or improve liveweight gain. Adding FM to a diet composed of big-bale silage and molassed sugar beet feed significantly increased liveweight gain, total ruminal volatile fatty acid and ammonia concentrations. The effect of diets differing in the ratio of molassed sugar beet feed to barley and the inclusion of yeast culture on growth and rumen metabolism of sheep (initial liveweight 36 kg) was examined in experiment 3. Four diets, which were offered ad libitum , consisted of pelleted or molassed sugar beet feed, barley and soya-bean meal in the following proportions (DM basis) either A, 770:170:60 or B, 470:470:60. Diets A and B were fed with and without 2 g Yea-Sacc/head/day.