Cattlemen's Day, 1990; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 90-361-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 592; Beef; Heifers; Pregnancy; Intake; Digestibility; Winter range


Six ruminally and eight bi-fistulated (ruminal and esophageal), 2-yr-old beef heifers were used to study the effects of pregnancy on forage intake and utilization under grazing conditions. During the third trimester of gestation, pregnant heifers ate more (P<.05) forage than nonpregnant heifers and maintained similar (P>.10) levels of organic matter and fiber digestibility. As calving neared, pregnant animals had higher (P<.05) rates of passage and tended to have lower ruminal capacity "¢(P=.15) and digesta fill (P=.14) than nonpregnant animals. Differences in quality of diet selected by the two groups were minimal.

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