The utilization of dietary energy by steers during periods of restricted food intake and subsequent realimentation

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Ledger H. P.
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During periods of drought one of the more important energy demands of livestock is that f9r mobility. The longer such conditions persist the greater is mobility required as animals are forced to travel farther and farther in search of less and less food. Under these circumstances energy demands for movement constitute a progressively increasing proportion of the daily food \intake until the stage is reached when the energy expended in searching for food is greater than that ingested and the emaciated animal finally dies from exhaustion. As reported by Blaxter (1969) Nicholl made reference to this occurrence when he observed that under extreme conditions of Australian drought a greater loss of weight, and consequently more deaths, occurred in sheep left free to forage than in similar sheep penned without food. Maintenance requirements also contribute progressively to production costs the longer droughts last and their correct estimation is of considerable importance.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 88, p. 27-33