Schlegel ML, Renjifo A, English M, Valdes EV. 2005. Nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage. In Graffam W, Hellinga D, Maslanka M, Ward A, Eds. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Omaha, NE.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage. Twelve laboratory scale silos (10.2 cm diameter x 45.7 cm long) were packed by hand with chopped willow (1.41 kg as-is, range 1.28 – 1.65 ± 0.18 SD) and opened on 0, 21, 42, and 84-d post-ensiling (three replicates per period). Silage dry matter weight and DM concentration did not differ at 0, 21, 42, and 84 d-post ensiling. Silage pH decreased 21 % (P < 0.05) from d 0 to 84. During the 84-d ensiling period, silage lactic acid concentration tended (P < 0.10) to increase 66%, acetic acid content increased (P < 0.05) 600%, and total organic acids increased (P < 0.05) over 100%. During the 84-d ensiling process, willow silage had increased (P < 0.05) neutral detergent fiber (14%), acid detergent fiber (17%), and lignin (22%) content. The fiber bound protein tended (P < 0.10) to increase in the silage. Total sugars decreased (P < 0.05) 78% and starch decreased (P < 0.05) 30% in the willow silage during the 84-d period. Vitamin E content of the silage decreased 52%. Mineral concentration of the willow silage did not change during the ensiling process. Although pH decreased during the ensiling process, mold was observed on the top of 89% of the silos. For proper fermentation, it is important to start with material that has an appropriate initial DM content and pack the silos tightly to reduce the extent of initial aerobic fermentation.SchlegelWillowFINAL14Aug.05.pdf     152 KB