In mountain areas, hays are the main forage in winter diets for livestock. Barn-dried hays can be an alternative to traditional hays, which are generally characterized by a low feed value. The aim of this study was to compare the feed value of barn-dried hays with that of the fresh forage from a permanent meadow. The study was carried out over three periods during the first growth cycle of the meadow’s vegetation (from 30 May to 3 June, from 13 to 17 June, and from 27 June to 1 July). Fresh forage and barn-dried hays of the same fresh forages were tested for dry matter digestibility (DMD), organic matter digestibility (OMD), and voluntary intake (VI). Both types of forage obtained each period were tested with an interval of 15 days. Chemical composition and OMD of forages did not change (p > 0.05) according to the feeding method. However, the DMD values for barn-dried hays were higher (p < 0.05) than for fresh forages at the end of the cycle. VI and digestible organic matter intake of barn-dried hays were higher (p < 0.05) than that of fresh forages. In conclusion, barn-dried hays obtained from permanent grasslands presented a higher feed value than fresh forages.
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