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Estimates of Digestibility of Birch, Willow, and Aspen Mixtures in Moose

Charles C. Schwartz, Wayne L. Regelin and Albert W. Franzmann
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 33-37
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801053
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801053
Page Count: 5
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Estimates of Digestibility of Birch, Willow, and Aspen Mixtures in Moose
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Abstract

Four feeding trials were conducted during winter with captive moose (Alces alces) at the Moose Research Center, Soldotna, Alaska. Our objectives were to estimate intake and digestibility of (1) a mixed diet of 70% paper birch (Betula papyrifera), 20% aspen (Populus tremuloides), and 10% willow (Salix spp.); (2) a mixed diet of 30% aspen and 70% pelleted ration; and (3) a mixed diet containing equal portions of paper birch, willow, and aspen browse. Moose would not consume the mixed diet that contained 70% birch, and the trial was terminated after 1 week. Dry matter intake (DMI) of the aspen and pelleted ration was 52.4 ± 12.5 (SD) g/kg body weight $(\text{BW})^{0.75}$/day. The estimate of dry matter digestion (DMD) for aspen was 40.9 ± 8.5%. Dry matter intake and DMD for the mixed-browse diets ranged from 25.4 to 38.6 g/kg $\text{BW}^{0.75}$/day, and 31.1 to 38.6%, respectively. Digestible and metabolizable energy represented 37.0 and 27.8% of gross energy intake, respectively. Energy intake was below levels required for winter maintenance.

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