Improving Intake of Medusahead: Is it Possible?
Tyler Hamilton, Juan Villalba and Beth Burritt
What ‘s Wrong with Medusahead?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

It produces little biomass
It’s mostly stem with little leaf
It has nasty a...
“A team of genetic engineers couldn’t have devised
a more ecologically lethal and effective invasive
weed than the aptly n...
"It's like a piece of land that's stolen from you or from
your ranch that no longer produces feed.”
Questions
1. How does supplementation intake of
and preference for medusahead?
2. Is medusahead aversive?

3. How does the...
How much medusahead will a sheep eat?
Do supplements enhance intake and preference?
Group 1:
High-Energy

Group 2:
High-Pr...
Supplement Ingredients and Nutritional Composition
Ingredient, %
Alfalfa
Soybean Meal
Beet Pulp
Barley

High Energy

High ...
Intake of Medusahead (Seedhead Emergence)
by Lambs Fed Three Different Supplements or
No Supplement

Intake, g/Kg0.75

8
6...
Translation:

Medusahead: 4 to 8 g/kg 0.75/5 hr
Requirement: 55 g/kg 0.75/d
Intake of Medusahead Intake (Seedhead
Emergence) by Lambs Fed a High Energy
Supplement or No Supplement
a

Intake ( g/kg 0...
8

Intake of Medusahead (Mature) by Lambs Fed
Three Different Supplements or No Supplement

Intake, g/Kg0.75

No Supplemen...
Intake, g/Kg0.75

20

Intake of Medusahead (Thatch) by Lambs Fed
Three Different Supplements or No Supplement
No supplemen...
Comparison of Medusahead
Seedhead Emergence vs. Thatch

20

Intake (g/kg 0.75)

15

Control
HiE
Hi Pro
Choice

Trial 1 – S...
Trial 1 – Total Intake – Seedhead Emergence

Intake of Tall Fescue
Hay, Medusahead and
Supplements at Three
Stages of Medu...
Trial 1 - Seedhead Emergence and Hay

60

Choice between TF hay
and medusahead at
three stages of maturity

40
20

0
C

HE...
Crude Protein and Silica Content of Medusahead
at Three Stages of Maturity
12
10

%

8
Green

6

Mature
Thatch

4
2
0

Cru...
Is Silica Involved in the Intake Response to
Medusahead?
Familiarized with alfalfa from 8 am to noon. Then, fed tall fescu...
120

120

Before adding Silica to Alfalfa
Alfalfa

110

110

2.5% Si

Intake (g/kg 0.75)

100

Silica added to Alfalfa

10...
Is Medusahead Aversive?
Fed coconut-flavored beet pulp

Then they received intraruminal infusions of:
1-LiCl (1.5 mg/Kg BW...
Is Medusahead Aversive?

Intake, g/Kg0.75

25
20
15
10
Hay
5

LiCl
Medusahead

0
1-Jul

2-Jul

3-Jul
Results
• Intake of and preference for medusahead is
enhanced (sort of) by supplements high in
energy.
• Intake of medusah...
Questions?
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Improving Intake of Medusahead: Is it Possible? by Tyler Hamilton, Juan Villalba and Beth Burritt, USU

  1. 1. Improving Intake of Medusahead: Is it Possible? Tyler Hamilton, Juan Villalba and Beth Burritt
  2. 2. What ‘s Wrong with Medusahead? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. It produces little biomass It’s mostly stem with little leaf It has nasty awns It’s high in silica and low in nutrients It produces a thatch that smothers other plants, doesn’t readily breakdown, and is highly flammable.
  3. 3. “A team of genetic engineers couldn’t have devised a more ecologically lethal and effective invasive weed than the aptly named medusahead rye.”
  4. 4. "It's like a piece of land that's stolen from you or from your ranch that no longer produces feed.”
  5. 5. Questions 1. How does supplementation intake of and preference for medusahead? 2. Is medusahead aversive? 3. How does the addition of silica dioxide to the diet affect intake?
  6. 6. How much medusahead will a sheep eat? Do supplements enhance intake and preference? Group 1: High-Energy Group 2: High-Protein Group 3: Choice Group 4: No Supplement After 20 min., all animals had ad libitum access to fresh medusahead for 5 hours/day. Trial 1 Trial 2 Measured intake and preference Trial 3
  7. 7. Supplement Ingredients and Nutritional Composition Ingredient, % Alfalfa Soybean Meal Beet Pulp Barley High Energy High Protein 60 40 70 30 DE, Mcal/kg NDF, % Protein, % 3.54 31.7 11.3 3.00 31.9 28.8 Protein/Energy 3.2 9.6
  8. 8. Intake of Medusahead (Seedhead Emergence) by Lambs Fed Three Different Supplements or No Supplement Intake, g/Kg0.75 8 6 4 2 SEM 0 1 2 3 No Supplement 4 5 High Energy 6 7 High Protein 8 9 Choice 10
  9. 9. Translation: Medusahead: 4 to 8 g/kg 0.75/5 hr Requirement: 55 g/kg 0.75/d
  10. 10. Intake of Medusahead Intake (Seedhead Emergence) by Lambs Fed a High Energy Supplement or No Supplement a Intake ( g/kg 0.75) 8 a a 6 4 b b b 2 No Supplement High energy 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  11. 11. 8 Intake of Medusahead (Mature) by Lambs Fed Three Different Supplements or No Supplement Intake, g/Kg0.75 No Supplement High Energy 6 High Protein Choice 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Figure 2
  12. 12. Intake, g/Kg0.75 20 Intake of Medusahead (Thatch) by Lambs Fed Three Different Supplements or No Supplement No supplement 15 High energy High Protein Chioce 10 5 SEM 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 2
  13. 13. Comparison of Medusahead Seedhead Emergence vs. Thatch 20 Intake (g/kg 0.75) 15 Control HiE Hi Pro Choice Trial 1 – Seedhead Emergence 10 5 0 20 15 Trial 3 – Thatch 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 2
  14. 14. Trial 1 – Total Intake – Seedhead Emergence Intake of Tall Fescue Hay, Medusahead and Supplements at Three Stages of Medusahead Maturity Hay 60 Medusahead 40 Supplement 20 0 None Trial 2 – Total Intake – Mature HE HP CH Trial 3 – Total Intake – Thatch 60 60 40 40 20 20 0 0 None HE HP CH None HE HP CH Figure 1
  15. 15. Trial 1 - Seedhead Emergence and Hay 60 Choice between TF hay and medusahead at three stages of maturity 40 20 0 C HE HP Merdusahead Trial 2- Mature and Hay CH Hay Trial 3 – Thatch and Hay 60 60 40 40 20 20 0 0 C HE HP CH C HE HP CH
  16. 16. Crude Protein and Silica Content of Medusahead at Three Stages of Maturity 12 10 % 8 Green 6 Mature Thatch 4 2 0 Crude Protein Silica
  17. 17. Is Silica Involved in the Intake Response to Medusahead? Familiarized with alfalfa from 8 am to noon. Then, fed tall fescue hay from noon to 2pm. After familiarization, lambs were fed their respective treatment diets (8 am to noon) and tall fescue hay from noon to 2pm. Alfalfa - Control Alfalfa + 2.5% SiO2 Alfalfa + 4.5% SiO2
  18. 18. 120 120 Before adding Silica to Alfalfa Alfalfa 110 110 2.5% Si Intake (g/kg 0.75) 100 Silica added to Alfalfa 100 4.5% Si 90 90 80 80 70 70 30 Tall Fescue Intake Before Adding Silica to Alfalfa 30 25 Tall Fescue Intake After Adding Silica to Alfalfa 25 20 20 15 15 10 10 5 5 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
  19. 19. Is Medusahead Aversive? Fed coconut-flavored beet pulp Then they received intraruminal infusions of: 1-LiCl (1.5 mg/Kg BW – Aversive) 2-Tall Fescue Hay (4g/Kg BW – Not Aversive) 3-Medusahead (4g/Kg BW – Unknown) (Average amount eaten in Trial 1)
  20. 20. Is Medusahead Aversive? Intake, g/Kg0.75 25 20 15 10 Hay 5 LiCl Medusahead 0 1-Jul 2-Jul 3-Jul
  21. 21. Results • Intake of and preference for medusahead is enhanced (sort of) by supplements high in energy. • Intake of medusahead is low and decreases even further as the plant matures. • Intake of medusahead by unsupplemented animals was low, even though they ate least DM and nutrients. • Medusahead does not to induce a food aversion in sheep. • Silica likely reduces intake of medusahead.
  22. 22. Questions?

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