Abstract: Two experiments were conducted to investigate the problems of severe nutrient loss of traditional alfalfa hay processing methods and storage difficulties in moist or rainy conditions. Alfalfa hay baled at two percentages of moisture (18 and 27%), respectively were taken as controls (CKL, low-moisture control; CKH, high-moisture control). Bale treatments were sampled before storage and at 5, 10, 25 and 60 days postbaling. Nutrient content and the curve of nutrient change during 60 days storage were analyzed to study the effect of compound additives on the quality and organic-matter digestibility of alfalfa hay baled at high-moisture content. The results showed that the nutrient-component proportion of conventional low-moisture alfalfa hay changed inconspicuously during the 60 days storage process and high-moisture treatment combinations that favored extended microbial activity continued to decrease the forage quality (particularly, increased neutral-detergent fiber and acid-detergent insoluble nitrogen). Nutrient content and in vitro digestibility of high-moisture alfalfa hay processed with compound additives improved to varying degrees after 60 days preservation. Its water content was 1.62% points less than that of the high-moisture control (CKH). Crude protein and soluble carbohydrates increased by 0.42 and 6.75 g kg-1, respectively while non-protein nitrogen and crude fiber decreased by 0.39 and 3.23% g kg-1. At the same time, in vitro dry matter digestibility and in vitro crude protein digestibility greatly increased by 4.18 and 2.74%.
Huajia Shan, Fuyu Yang, Wenxu Zhang, Ligang Qin and He Zhou, 2012. Effect of Additives on the Quality and in vitro Digestibility of Alfalfa Hay with High Moisture Content. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 11: 3094-3099.